Working Papers

This series reports research activities or interim findings and aim to share ideas and elicit feedback. Future Agricultures publishes approximately six to ten Working Papers per year.

We also support a series of LDPI Working Papers through our involvement in the Land Deal Politics Initiative.

Some of our Working Papers are also available in a French translation: see Documents de travail for a full list.


Latest articles

Interpreting China-Africa Agricultural Encounters: Rhetoric and Reality in a Large Scale Rice Project in Mozambique
October 14, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 126
Zhang Chuanhong, Li Xiaoyun, Oi Gubo and Wang Yanlei
July 2015

In recent years, China’s burgeoning agricultural investment in Africa has attracted tremendous attention from media, academics and policymakers worldwide. The macro-level discussions around the nature and significance of these engagements have been debated and well documented within a vast body of literature.

However, little research had been done concerning the local encounters through a particular project, which constitutes a very important angle in understanding how success or failure of a development model is produced. In this article, the authors went beyond apolitical economic approach and examined how local encounters construct and reshape the practice of a particular agricultural investment project using actor-oriented approaches. The perspectives of both Chinese actors and their African counterparts were explored and analysed based on a large-scale Chinese rice project in Mozambique.

The research found that the optimistic rhetoric of state actors and investors fell short of the reality of the many unacknowledged structures and chance events. However, despite the unintended outcomes, the rhetoric persists due to the project’s significance – not only in its potential for economic profit, but also in terms of its political prestige.

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A Chinese Pesticide Enterprise in Ghana: Motivations, Impacts, Challenges and Local Interactions
September 18, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 124
Yu Lerong, Lu Jixia, Henry Tugendhat and Li Xiaoyun
July 2015

This working paper explores the motivations, impacts, challenges and interactions of a successful Chinese pesticide enterprise in Ghana. In the context of much China-Africa literature focusing on state-backed Chinese business initiatives in Africa, this paper takes an ethnographic approach to explain the rise of a private sector Chinese agrochemicals company in Ghana. This is significant because of the frugal amount of literature that does cover Chinese migrant businesses in Africa, very few studies look at agricultural firms in particular. The main conclusion of this research is that the pushfactors from China’s domestic market and opportunities from Ghana’s agrochemicals market are important driving forces for Chinese pesticide enterprises to ‘go out’. Furthermore, diversified strategies are necessary to deal with local market environments based on business and social networks that intertwine formal and informal relations.

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FAC Working Paper 124 Pdf 352.00 KB 13 downloads

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Chinese Training Courses for African Agriculture: Transformational Knowledge?
July 22, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 122
Henry Tugendhat
July 2015

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has launched one of the largest training course programmes in the world as part of its international cooperation programme with Africa. In these training courses, China’s foremost universities, state bureaux, and private companies transfer their knowledge to 10,000 African government officials per year. The courses cover everything from the management of health epidemics to customs office administration, all drawing from China’s most recent socio-economic development experiences. In 2013, agriculture-related topics made up a significant 15 percent of total training courses, covering courses on both policy and technology.

There has been a strong narrative, from Chinese government officials and their African counterparts alike, that what is particularly appealing about China is that its agricultural sector has similarities with that of many African countries. They talk of China’s diversity of climates to match the many African environments, as well as China’s dependence on smallholder farming. The logical conclusion from such narratives would appear to be: what worked for China, must work for Africa. In this context, the MOFCOM training courses consist of one of the most direct forms of knowledge transfer from Chinese experts to African state leaders and policymakers. Many of the Chinese experts involved are not just qualified in the theory of what they teach, but have had first-hand experiences of effecting the change that brought about China’s own agricultural achievements.

As such, this paper seeks to understand how China’s agricultural training courses have affected agricultural practices in the African countries where they train. This looks at how the training courses work, how transferable this knowledge really is for African agricultural contexts, and finally, what these training courses really achieve in the broader context of China-Africa relations. Ghana and Zimbabwe are focused on as key case studies for this paper, and fieldwork was also conducted with training institutions and lecturers in China.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture

 

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FAC Working Paper 122 Pdf 384.01 KB 15 downloads

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Jumping into the Sea: Chinese Migrants’ Engagement in Non-Traditional Agricultural Commodities in Ethiopia
July 9, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 121
Seth Cook and Dawit Alemu
July 2015

This paper explores the nature and extent of Chinese migrants’ involvement in the demand and supply of non-traditional agricultural commodities in Ethiopia, shares the perspectives of the different actors involved, and discusses the implications of this presence for Ethiopian development.

The focus here is not simply on the food and agriculture sector; the study also aims to shed light on the Chinese migrants involved in that sector. For instance, who are they and where do they come from in China? Why do they come to Ethiopia, and how do they end up in the food and agriculture sector? How do their business networks operate? What are their aspirations, and do they see Ethiopia as a permanent home?

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 121 Pdf 417.21 KB 10 downloads

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Pathways for irrigation development in Africa – insights from Ethiopia, Morocco and Mozambique (Summary)
June 30, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 119 (Summary version)
Naomi Oates, Guy Jobbins, Beatrice Mosello and John Arnold
June 2015

This paper summarises the findings of a rapid review to determine the policies and practices that have shaped irrigation performance over the last 50 years in three African countries: Ethiopia, Morocco and Mozambique.

The research combined a review of national (sector) level trends with short case studies of specific irrigation schemes. Evidence was drawn from the literature, supplemented by in-country key informant interviews and brief site visits. The review considers changes in policy and their drivers; linkages between policy, practice and performance; factors determining scheme performance; and key issues for future policymaking.

Full details can be found in the main working paper.

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FAC Working Paper 119 Summary Pdf 5.41 MB 18 downloads

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Pathways for irrigation development in Africa – insights from Ethiopia, Morocco and Mozambique
June 30, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 119
Naomi Oates, Guy Jobbins, Beatrice Mosello and John Arnold
June 2015

Irrigation has played an important role in agricultural modernisation around the world. In Africa, however, agricultural production has increased very slowly over the last fifty years, barely keeping pace with population growth. After a period of relative neglect, the international community is showing renewed interest in African irrigation as a means to tackle food insecurity, increasing water scarcity and climate change. Calls for increased investment present an opportunity to learn from past experiences in order to chart plausible pathways for future development.

This working paper reviews the policies and practices that have shaped irrigation development in Ethiopia, Morocco and Mozambique of the last fifty years. The research combines an analysis of sector trends with case studies of specific irrigation schemes, considering linkages between policy, practice and performance, drivers of change, and key issues for future policymaking.

A summary version of this paper is also available.

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FAC Working Paper 119 Pdf 6.54 MB 27 downloads

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Gender implications of agricultural commercialisation: The case of sugarcane production in Kilombero District, Tanzania
May 11, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 118
Helen Dancer and Emmanuel Sulle
May 2015

Since the global food crisis of 2008 the Tanzanian government, amongst other African governments, has made food security through increases in agricultural productivity a policy priority. The emphasis in Tanzania is on commercialisation, with a particular focus on large-scale rice and sugarcane production. Gender equity within African agricultural production is a critical issue; yet limited empirical research exists on the gender implications of agricultural commercialisation now taking place in the region.

This paper presents findings from fieldwork conducted in Kilombero District of Tanzania in 2013 and 2014. The research takes the country’s largest sugar producer – Kilombero Sugar Company Ltd – as its focus and analyses the socio-economic implications of the commercialisation of sugarcane production from a gender perspective. The findings demonstrate the significance of gender relations in the development of commercial agricultural business models, local socio-economic development and land titling measures. They also illustrate the pressures and benefits for relationships and resource-sharing within households in the transition from food crops to sugarcane production.

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FAC Working Paper 118 Pdf 2.46 MB 13 downloads

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Agricultural growth in the New Alliance countries
April 28, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 108
Steve Wiggins, Sharada Keats and Jim Sumberg
April 2015

Rural Africa has changed considerably since the early 1990s. Demand for agricultural output is greater owing to higher world prices, economic growth, urbanisation and an enlarged urban middle class. Above all, governments and their development partners have revived their interest in agriculture during the 2000s. Concerted efforts are now underway to raise agricultural productivity and the rate of agricultural growth.

This prompts the two main questions addressed by this study. Is agriculture in Africa growing faster than in the past, and closer to the ambitious goal set in Maputo in 2003 of six percent growth per year? Equally important, is productivity in agriculture rising? Increased labour productivity will be critical for the transition of African countries from agrarian to urban economies. The focus here is on the countries that had by early 2014 joined the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania.

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FAC Working Paper 117 Pdf 361.15 KB 11 downloads

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International Drivers of Brazilian Agricultural Cooperation in Africa in the Post-2008 Economic Crisis
April 21, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 117
Alcides Costa Vaz
March 2015

This text focuses on the major drivers of Brazilian agricultural cooperation in Africa as conceived and pursued from 2004 to 2014, with emphasis on the impacts of political and economic international changes that took place in that period, and particularly the impacts of the 2008 economic crisis, in framing Brazil’s foreign policy and development assistance initiatives. It addresses current international forces and developments at the systemic level, but also analyses recent economic domestic developments, in particular those directly related to Brazilian agriculture and those related to the policy framework of its evolving internationalisation. Special attention is paid to the dual dimensions of Brazilian agricultural policy and to its projection in agricultural cooperation as pursed in Africa.

Perspectives on jobs and farming: Findings from a Q study with young people, parents and development workers in rural Ghana
April 14, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 109
James Sumberg, Thomas Yeboah, Justin Flynn and Nana Akua Anyidoho
April 2015

This paper presents the results of a series of Q Methodology studies with secondary students and parents at two sites in Ghana (Ashanti Region and Northern Region), and with development officials. The studies were informed by the argument that there is a significant risk of implementation failure when there is a clash of assumptions or world views among the parties associated with a policy process. Specifically the objective was to explore in a systematic way the perspectives of rural young people, their parents and development officials on a series of questions relating to work in general and agriculture in particular. Five specific research questions were addressed: What is a desirable job? What makes a job desirable? What explains young people’s attitude toward farming? Why should we be concerned about rural young people and farming? What should be done about rural young people and farming?

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FAC Working Paper 109a Pdf 1.05 MB 13 downloads

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Zimbabwe-Brazil cooperation through the More Food Africa Programme
March 23, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 116
Langton Mukwereza
March 2015

The expanding footprint of BRICS countries in Africa, especially over the last 15 years, has remained a subject of intense public interest in academic, development and diplomatic circles. There is some understandable trepidation among traditional donors towards the BRICS approach, and their focus remains on China.

Zimbabwe experienced intractable socio-economic development challenges from 2000 and the period 1998- 2008 has been referred to mildly as one of ‘political and economic crisis’. The European Union, which had hitherto been the largest development partner for Zimbabwe, suspended development cooperation with the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) and confirmed the fallout by imposing sanctions on specified state entities and members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANUPF). As Zimbabwe was actively courting investment from the East, Brazil was in its own way extending its tentacles across Africa in line with its increasing economic stature.

The GoZ has been in discussion with the Government of Brazil (GoB) for a major agricultural mechanisation cooperation programme since 2010, and the first batch of machinery and equipment was delivered between October 2014 and January 2015. The South American country is supplying tractors, tractor-drawn equipment and irrigation equipment under a concessionary loan agreement through the More Food Africa programme. The process to culminate in the supply of the equipment has been intractable and is yet to fully play out. Yet negotiations have been undertaken cordially and with mutual respect. This paper documents the negotiation process to date, situating it within the broad development encounters between Brazil and Africa, and in particular that BRICS country and Zimbabwe.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 116 Pdf 368.92 KB 18 downloads

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Situating Tian Ze’s role in reviving Zimbabwe’s Flue-Cured Tobacco sector in the wider discourse on Zimbabwe- China cooperation: Will the scorecard remain Win-Win?
March 23, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 115
Langton Mukwereza
February 2015

The milestone 1998 land reform conference convened by Zimbabwe and major donors ended in a stalemate on how the country was to proceed thereon. In the aftermath of that landmark event, Zimbabwe proceeded unilaterally in implementing a fairly radical land reform programme that saw land owned by almost all white large scale commercial farmers being redistributed among indigenous people.

The West proceeded in unison in imposing economic sanctions on the country and the economy experienced a major slump. Leveraging on strong political ties between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) that date back to Zimbabwe’s protracted liberation struggle, Zimbabwe succeeded in courting the Chinese as alternative development partners in a wide range of economic sectors. The two governments have framed discourses and narratives on Zimbabwe-China cooperation as win-win engagements, while the West and Zimbabwe’s private media have been sceptical, intimating that benefits have been skewed in favour of China bearing in mind Zimbabwe’s vulnerability in the face of limited options post land reform.

A Chinese state-owned company, Tian Ze, has since assumed a prominent status in Zimbabwe’s tobacco sector through its contract farming scheme and purchase of the country’s crop. This paper draws on the knowledge encounters framework in discussing the basis for the evolution of enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries and critically considers the current activities and power of Tian Ze and what influence the company could exert in the continued resurgence of Zimbabwe’s tobacco sector.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture

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FAC Working Paper 115 A Pdf 722.47 KB 7 downloads

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Chinese Agricultural Expertise Support in Ethiopia: Approaches, Motives and Perspectives
March 23, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 114
Dawit Alemu, Seth Cook and Qi Gubo
February 2015

The Government of Ethiopia’s (GoE’s) economic growth strategy, Agriculture Development Led Industrialization (ADLI, formulated in 1991), places very high priority on accelerating agricultural growth and achieving food security. Agriculture is also a main focus of the current GoE’s Growth and Transformation Plan, as was also the case for its predecessors. The effort to modernise the agricultural sector, the GoE has been heavily investing in agricultural education, research and extension. Linked with such investment, the GoE duly considers the importance of technology and skill transfer from all over the world.

This paper documents the role of the different acts of cooperation between China and Ethiopia in ensuring the transfer of agricultural technology and knowledge in the process of agricultural modernisation in the country. It specifically assesses how these interventions are aligned with ongoing public programmes; how they are perceived by both locals and Chinese; what challenges and opportunities are emerging in achieving the objectives set in their design, especially in support of the Ethiopian agricultural extension system’s improvement; and what implications can be drawn for other development partners engaged in support of the Ethiopian agricultural sector.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 114 Pdf 368.51 KB 9 downloads

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A study of Brazilian Trilateral Development Cooperation in Mozambique: The case of ProSAVANA and ProALIMENTOS
March 4, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 113
Natalia N. Fingerman
February 2015

The distribution of power in the international system has dramatically changed in the twenty-first century. Emerging countries like China, India, Brazil and South Africa have expanded their capacity of influence worldwide, shifting the balance of international organisations. A remarkable feature of the rise of these emerging countries has been their engagement in development assistance through South-South cooperation mechanisms and innovative aid modalities. In general, the limited literature around South-South cooperation and Trilateral Development Cooperation (TDC) is split into two antagonist perspectives: enthusiasts and sceptics.

In particular, no study has ever attempted to identify empirically the motivations, ideas, values and practices of all different actors involved during the implementation process, so ‘there is limited evidence on its impact and value from the recipient’s country perspective and whether or not it functions as an effective “partnership”. In order to narrow this gap, this research considers implementation as a complex social process, arguing that one must look at the ground of the implementation process to analyse whether TDC may reshape the architecture of development aid and what its impacts are on partners.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 113 Pdf 619.84 KB 10 downloads

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Chinese and Brazilian agricultural models in Mozambique. The case of the Chinese Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre and of the Brazilian ProALIMENTOS programme
March 4, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 112
Sérgio Chichava and Natalia N. Fingermann
February 2015

China and Brazil have called increasing attention from the international community, especially in the field of development cooperation. In Africa, for instance, both countries have expanded their development activities and defined agriculture as one of the main sectors to boost mutual cooperation. Recognising that agriculture played a key role in both China’s and Brazil’s economic development, these countries, usually called ‘emerging donors’ or ‘new donors’, state that unlike ‘traditional donors’ they will be able to bring their respective agriculture-based developmental experiences to African countries.

Although both countries stress how their own local experience may inspire African agriculture, it is important to highlight that the modalities and models of technology transfer might differ from one country to another. In order to understand how Chinese and Brazilian models and modalities play out in the African context, this study has examined and compared the activities of a Chinese and a Brazilian project carried out in the district of Boane in Mozambique. Due to cultural and communication issues, as well as managerial practices, the Chinese agricultural model is facing more difficulties in Mozambique than the Brazilian one, although the Chinese have more financial capacity to implement their agriculture-based experience.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 112 Pdf 342.02 KB 13 downloads

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Mozambican elite in a Chinese rice ‘friendship’: an ethnographic study of the Xai-Xai irrigation scheme
February 6, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 111
Sérgio Chichava
February 2015

In April 2007, the Mozambican and the Chinese governments through the Provinces of Gaza and Hubei respectively set up an agreement for the establishment of a Chinese ‘friendship’ rice farm at the Lower Limpopo scheme (also known as Xai-Xai irrigation scheme). Among the main objectives of this partnership was agricultural technology transfer from Chinese to Mozambican farmers. In order to benefit from this technology transfer, the Mozambican government asked local farmers to organise themselves within an association, named ARPONE. The association intended to develop agriculture and livestock.

However, it appeared that the main people who created the association and started to work alongside the Chinese company were mostly Frelimo members, the party ruling the country since its independence in 1975. In the same way, some high-up employees of Regadio do Baixo Limpopo (RBL), the public company in charge of the irrigation scheme, joined ARPONE and started to produce rice. It is important to stress that high state officials are usually linked to Frelimo. The main purpose of this paper, which focuses on the example of ARPONE association farmers in Xai-Xai, is to show how the Mozambican political elite – usually linked to Frelimo – are using their positions within the party or the state to take advantage of the Chinese project.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 111 V2 Pdf 340.83 KB 8 downloads

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Priests, technicians and traders? The discursive politics of Brazil’s agricultural cooperation in Mozambique
February 5, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 110
Lídia Cabral
February 2015

Questions such as whose interests drive Brazil into Africa, what development models are carried along and what is in them for African countries have been guiding research and debates about Brazil’s cooperation in Africa. This paper contributes to this emerging body of work by looking at the specific case of agricultural cooperation. The analysis highlights the discursive side of Brazilian cooperation, where competing narratives about models and purposes reproduce different versions of reality for reasons related to the political character of cooperation. Discourse is hence an expression of the political. One account frames Brazil’s agricultural cooperation as a domain of priests, technicians and traders, driven, respectively, by doctrinal, technical fixing and business rationales. This provides an initial frame of reference to distil actors’ narratives about cooperation programmes.

The paper focuses specifically on two cooperation initiatives in Mozambique: ProSavana and More Food International. The key for understanding competing narratives on these two programmes and how they intermingle and change over time can be found in Brazil’s domestic sphere. The two programmes have been interpreted as an expression of contradictions in Brazil’s agriculture and particularly its dualistic character, typically framed as family farming versus agribusiness. Through the lenses of discourse analysis, this paper offers a critical reading of the interplay between priests, technicians and traders, or different thrusts in cooperation relations. The interplay suggests that the terms of Brazil’s agriculture dualism need recasting. While the paper prioritises the discussion of how Brazil’s internal agricultural politics pervade the realm of development cooperation abroad, forthcoming research will reflect more extensively on why this happens.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 110 C Pdf 801.56 KB 9 downloads

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The Politics of Small-Scale Irrigation in Tanzania: Making Sense of Failed Expectations
October 15, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 107
Anna Mdee with Elizabeth Harrison, Chris Mdee, Erast Mdee and Elias Bahati
September 2014

This working paper examines the dynamics of smallscale irrigation in two sites in Tanzania. It is an output from a wider project which explores how institutions for smallscale irrigation combine localised moral economies with national and international influences. The project seeks to understand how ‘external’ actors interact with ‘local’ norms, rules, moralities and politics, particularly in the context of climate change. It further asks how economic growth objectives can be reconciled with strengthened livelihoods and the resilience of diverse stakeholders.

The two study locations illuminate different aspects of the policy context for irrigation in Tanzania, where agriculture continues to provide employment for more than 80 percent of the population, but productivity remains poor and livelihoods are highly vulnerable. The latest policy initiatives aimed at developing agriculture such as Kilimo Kwanza suggest a significant role for irrigation in improving the productivity of agriculture, and will be crucial in attempts at commercialisation and growth.

Tanzanian irrigation policy shows a clear preference for the creation of large irrigation schemes to be managed by the private sector or by co-operatives of small farmers. ‘Traditional’ irrigation is only seen as desirable where it is ‘improved’ and formalised to fit within existing institutions of water management. To explore this policy context further, the study covers one location where irrigation is informal and ‘traditional’ but apparently improved by a change in technology, and one large irrigation scheme managed by a co-operative of small-scale farmers.

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FAC Working Paper 107 Pdf 1.06 MB 17 downloads

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Synthesis of Findings and Assessment of Gaps in Research and Policy: Urban Areas, Agriculture and Health
October 13, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 105
Lars Otto Naess, Abdulai Jalloh, Mbène Dièye Faye, Aboubakar Njoya and Harold Roy-Macauley

This report provides a synthesis of key headline findings from 12 regional reviews (see Annex 1) on research-policy linkages on adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The reviews covered three separate themes – urban areas, agriculture and health – in the four regions of West, Central, Southern and East Africa.

The reports set out to review the state of knowledge on research and policy, identifying gaps as well as opportunities for collaboration. The reviews were carried out as part of the AfricaInteract programme, aimed at helping to enhance the knowledge base and support research-based policy formulation for climate change adaptation throughout SSA. The goal of this report is to bring together key findings from the regional reviews, and to reflect on key gaps as well as opportunities for supporting evidence-based policy formulation for climate change adaptation across SSA.

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FAC Working Paper 105 Pdf 584.02 KB 5 downloads

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The role of the state and foreign capital in agricultural commercialisation: the case of sugarcane..
September 8, 2014 / Working Papers

Full title: The role of the state and foreign capital in agricultural commercialisation: The case of sugarcane outgrowers in Kilombero District, Tanzania
Working Paper 106
Rebecca Smalley, Emmanuel Sulle and Lameck Malale

Since the launch of the Kilimo Kwanza (‘Agriculture First’) slogan in 2009, the Tanzanian government has been part of efforts to inject foreign capital into its country’s agricultural sector. A range of domestic and international players have developed plans to facilitate private acquisition of farmland; increase investment in irrigation and value addition; deepen the penetration of agribusiness; and bring more of Tanzania’s small-scale farmers into commercial agriculture, particularly through outgrower arrangements. The plans include the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor project (SAGCOT), a public–private partnership focused on Tanzania’s south-central region, and Big Results Now, which aims at achieving rapid progress in commercialisation and other agricultural policies in priority crops (Cooksey 2013). Sugar is a target sector.

One of the areas of Tanzania in which development is planned, the Kilombero Valley, already has a nucleus– outgrower sugarcane business. This working paper presents findings from a study of the sugarcane business in Kilombero. We argue that a dramatic but poorly planned expansion of the outgrower sector, combined with farmer services being transferred or reduced, has created wealth but also systemic weaknesses that are linked to falling returns for many outgrowers and a wider problem of land scarcity. The solution to these problems lies with the state, the company and associations of cane growers, as well as sugar industry regulatory institutions.

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FAC Working Paper 106 Pdf 1.20 MB 9 downloads

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Review of Research and Policy for Climate Change Adaptation in the Health Sector in East Africa
September 6, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 104
Andrew K. Githeko, Abdulai Jalloh, Hezron Mogaka
August 2014

This review examines the state of research on adaptation to climate change in the health sector in the East African region and identifies key research and policy gaps.

The review indicated that it is now generally accepted that some diseases are sensitive to climate change and variability, particularly malaria and Rift Valley fever. However, the health sector has been slow in linking climate change and variability to other diseases, perhaps because of less clear cause-effect relationships. The government led health sector is still operating in the disaster management mode instead of the disaster prevention mode. There is an urgent need for capacity to use climate information and to apply tools such as predictive and spatial models. Stakeholders’ involvement with research and policy is fragmented and lacks coherence. The absence of some key stakeholders such as the World Health Organization (WHO) in addressing climate change concerns in Africa has delayed the process of adaptation in the sector. It is recommended that a solid body of knowledge indicating the relationship between disease epidemiology, climate change and variability should be developed.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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FAC Working Paper 104 Pdf 764.59 KB 7 downloads

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Review of Research and Policies for Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector in East Africa
September 2, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 103
Emma T. Liwenga, Abdulai Jalloh and Hezron Mogaka
August 2014

 

Climate change is rapidly emerging as a major risk factor affecting the agriculture sector across the East African region. This paper aims at synthesising research and policies related to climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector in Africa, with a particular focus on the East African region. The review was based on a detailed literature search with a focus on performance of the agricultural sector within the East African region.

Agricultural research is a crucial area for adaptation to climate change in order to deal with changes in the length of growing seasons, increased droughts and periodic waterlogging as well as increased temperature and salinity. Integrated approaches are also needed in development interventions aimed at promoting adaptation to climate change. Combining local and scientific knowledge systems is important for making climate information relevant locally and for empowering communities. Empirical studies on gender also need to be conducted in different agro-ecological zones to test its contribution to adaptation planning.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

 

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FAC Working Paper 103 Pdf 2.58 MB 8 downloads

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Review of Research and Policies for Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas in East Africa
August 30, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 102
Chipo Plaxedes Mubaya, Abdulai Jalloh and Hezron Mogaka

There is growing research interest in and support for adaptation to climate change in Africa. It is thus imperative that the findings emerging from relevant research are applied and used to inform policymaking concerning climate change adaptation. It is critical that sector policies be appropriately informed by the existing body of knowledge on climate change and climate variability generated from scientific research. The overall objective of this review is to enhance the knowledge base and to support research-based policy formulation for climate change adaptation in urban areas in East Africa.

This review is a desk study of literature that is synthesised by thematic areas. The review covers countries in East Africa, with particular policy focus on Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It aims to review research and to identify gaps in research and policy, as well as barriers and opportunities for adaptation.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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FAC Working Paper 102 Pdf 564.87 KB 4 downloads

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Review of Research and Policies for Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas in Southern Africa
August 29, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 101
Miriam Joshua, Abdulai Jallohand Sepo Hachigonta

This paper provides results for a review of climate change adaptation research and polices in the Southern African urban sector, focusing in particular on water resources management and use and gender relations. The review was conducted to identify gaps in research and policymaking for climate change adaptation in the urban sector, with the aim of improving evidence-based policymaking that can enhance food security and protect populations vulnerable to climate change. The study focused on Southern Africa using Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe as case studies.

Southern Africa remains the most urbanised region of Africa, with the country having the largest (61.5 percent) urban population, while Malawi is the fastest urbanising country in the world. Projections show further increases in urban population, suggesting that population growth in the region is becoming largely an urban phenomenon. Additionally, rural-urban migration is resulting in an increase in the proportion of poor population in the urban areas. Due to low capacity of local governments, the poor population lives in slums mushrooming on marginal land, without social amenities and highly vulnerable to natural hazards. Climate change is expected to worsen the vulnerability of these communities through impacts on water availability and quality leading to water stress, energy crisis, food insecurity, human health problems and sea level rise in coastal cities as well as destruction of infrastructure. The most vulnerable are the poor and especially women due to gendered division of labour and power relations. Urban populations with high adaptive capacity are less vulnerable to effects of climate risks.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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FAC Working Paper 101 V2 Pdf 946.50 KB 4 downloads

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Review of Research and Policy for Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector in C Africa
August 29, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 98
Jacob Mbua Ngeve, Abdulai Jalloh and Michel Ndjatsana

This report is the result of a review carried out to synthesise research and policies related to the adaptation of agriculture to climate change in the Central African region. Climate change poses serious challenges to the agriculture sector in the Central African region. Africa has generally been considered among the most highly vulnerable regions to climate change because of extremes of drought, flooding, inappropriate land tenure systems, over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture and widespread poverty.

All the countries of the region are signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); participate in regional institutions including the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) with its Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM); have created structures for climate change issues (a National Climate Change Unit in Cameroon, a National Climate Council in Gabon and an Industrial Afforestation Unit in the Congo Republic); have ongoing policies, instruments and initiatives for climate change adaptation; and exhibit some awareness among stakeholders of the serious climate change impacts on agriculture, livestock, pastoralism and fisheries. However, many countries are yet to establish field research activities on adaptation. Also, governments appear to lack firm funding commitments on adaptation, arguing that financing of climate change adaptation should be carried by external donors or developed country partners.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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FAC Working Paper 098 V2 Pdf 628.01 KB 5 downloads

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Review of Research & Policies for Climate Change Adaptation in the Health Sector in Southern Africa
August 29, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 99
Mao A. Amis, Abdulai Jalloh and Sepo Hachigonta

The impact of climate change is being felt across the globe, including in Southern Africa, exemplified by increased incidence of extreme events such as flooding and prolonged drought. These changes, which are partly attributable to anthropogenic activities, will have major implications on human health, ecosystems and the economies of various countries and regions. In Southern Africa, most of the models project drier conditions as a result of increased warming. Extreme events are also projected to occur with greater incidence in some parts of the region, such as flooding in the Mozambican floodplains. The impact of climate change in the health sector in the region is projected to increase the disease burden by changing the transmission patterns of some diseases as habitat suitability for vectors changes. The incidence of food and water borne infectious diseases is also projected to increase.

This synthesis report was conducted in order to advance our understanding of progress in responding to the threat of climate change in the Southern African region, through a review of policy development and implementation, and our understanding of the linkages between climate change and health. Within the region, particular focus was on South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Review of Research and Policies for Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector in…
August 29, 2014 / Working Papers

Full title: Review of Research and Policies for Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector in Southern Africa

Working Paper 100
Paul Mapfumo, Abdulai Jalloh and Sepo Hachigonta

There is a growing and critical need for decision-makers at different levels in Africa, from local (community) to national and sub-regional scales, to develop matching response strategies and policies in order to reduce vulnerability and foster resilient livelihood systems on a sustainable basis. This document presents the main findings of a critical review conducted to examine the current evidence of research and policies on climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector in Southern Africa.

With a specific focus on Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe, the desktop review was guided by three main objectives: i) to synthesise the major findings from agricultural research on climate change adaptation conducted in Southern Africa; ii) to identify research and policy gaps on climate change adaptation with a specific focus on Southern Africa’s agricultural sector; and iii) to identify key stakeholders and opportunities for climate change adaptation for the agricultural sector in Southern Africa. For the purposes of the study, agriculture was defined broadly to include not only crops and livestock, but also forestry and fisheries systems. Information was primarily drawn from available but limited refereed journal articles, official government documents and grey literature from reports and websites of diverse organisations practically addressing or actively engaged in debate on climate change issues in the Southern African region.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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Review of Research and Policy for Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas in Central Africa
August 29, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 97
Napi Wouapi, Abdulai Jalloh and Michel Ndjatsana

The aim of this report is to synthesise research and enhance the knowledge base related to climate change adaptation and to support research-based policy formulation for climate change adaptation in urban areas in Central Africa. Central African cities are highly vulnerable to climate change, which is one of the most important challenges facing cities across Africa and around the world today. Urban poor bear the brunt of its effects since they live and work mostly in informal settlements that are more exposed to hazards. This is being exacerbated by a combination of exposure to projected climate hazards and extreme events coupled with low or limited adaptive capacity.

Focusing on three countries in the region (Cameroon, Gabon and the Republic of Congo), this review captures examples of research and policy related to climate change adaptation in urban areas. The review identifies gaps in research and policymaking for climate change adaptation in the above sector and proffers insights that can be used to improve evidence-based policymaking. The latter aims at enhancing the knowledge base and integrating climate change into national and regional urban planning, governance and policies, thereby enabling research-to-policy linkage for adaptation to climate change in Central Africa.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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Review of Research and Policy for Climate Change Adaptation in the Health Sector in Central Africa
August 29, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 96
Nafomon Sogoba, Abdulai Jalloh and Michel Ndjatsana

There is a growing research interest in and support for adaptation to climate change in Africa. It is thus imperative that the findings emerging from relevant research are actually applied and used to inform policymaking concerning climate change adaptation. The objective of this review is to enhance the knowledge base and to support research-based policy formulation for climate change adaptation in the health sector in Central Africa.

This work is an initiative of a project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and coordinated by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/ WECARD) to review research related to adaptation to climate change in the health sector in the Central African region. The review encompassed peer-reviewed journal articles, theses, grey literature and reports over the past 15-20 years to capture as much as possible of scientific and indigenous knowledge as well as policies related to climate change adaptation. The possible gaps that form the basis for further research and policy formulation were also identified.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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FAC Working Paper 096 V2 Pdf 518.45 KB 5 downloads

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The Politics of Pastoral Violence: A Case Study of Isiolo County, Northern Kenya
August 18, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 95
Dr Roba D Sharamo
June 2014

Conflicts and violence taking the form of cattle rustling, ethnic violence, displacements and massacres have characterised inter-communal and clan relations among the various pastoralist communities of northern Kenya and the greater Horn of Africa region. In addition to stress factors such as environmental degradation, drought, famine and other natural catastrophes, pastoralists face complex challenges of land related conflicts (some of which are related to administrative and electoral boundaries); recurrent violent conflicts aggravated by the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALWs); tensions with agricultural communities; and human-wildlife conflicts aggravated by competing uses of land for commercial ranching and wildlife conservation, amongst others.

However, while the nature of pastoral conflicts has changed over time, recent violence in northern Kenya suggests that there are worrying new dynamics at play. The nature of pastoral conflict seems to be changing yet again alongside northern Kenya’s new importance in the country’s wider development strategy and also in relation to the politics surrounding its new decentralised political system. Through a case study of Isiolo – historically the gateway to northern Kenya – this paper examines in detail the dynamics of new violence in the region’s pastoral areas and assesses their implications for conflict reduction and peacebuilding efforts. While many automatically link intensifying development with more secure livelihoods, well-being and a greater propensity for peace, a different picture emerges from recent violence in northern Kenya. Here, violence and militarism have accompanied and marked developmental transitions. Even with the advent of a new constitutional dispensation that heralded a devolved governance system, from Samburu to Isiolo to Marsabit violence has persisted and flared anew across northern Kenya. Fear of devolution and complex political and economic interests converge to fan violence among Isiolo’s communities.

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FAC Working Paper 095a Pdf 303.97 KB 6 downloads

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Contested Margins, Complex Pathways: The Afar Triangle in the Horn of Africa
July 2, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 94
Alan Nicol and Mosope Otulana
June 2014

The ‘Afar Triangle’ straddles Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. Historically it has been at the centre of state building and contestation between state and society for over a century. The contemporary relevance of this area lies in the overlapping contestations of power, economic development and nationhood that continue to mark the present-day struggles of the Afar people. Understanding the challenges, dynamics, histories and continuities of this situation can help in providing future support to Afar development – across all three countries, but particularly in Ethiopia where the majority of the Afar live.

The paper traces key social, political and environmental issues and argues that the Afar Triangle, rather than a single contiguous shape, in fact represents many overlapping and contested ‘margins’ which range from areas of contested (political) control to territorial group identity, and from temperature gradients and rainfall isohyets to environmental and agro-ecological margins. These patterns determine the range and extent of Afar pastoral systems and their interactions with other, often competing, social groups. We identify key interrelationships between these margins and how they affect the security of Afar livelihoods, emphasizing the heterogeneity of experience, but also the major challenges that Afar pastoral systems continue to face.

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Grazing rights in Namibia’s communal areas: A case study of a local land grabbing dispute…
July 2, 2014 / Working Papers

Full title: Grazing rights in Namibia’s communal areas: A case study of a local land grabbing dispute in Western Kavango region

Future Agricultures Working Paper 93
Theodor Muduva
June 2014

While conflict and competition over land is a major trend in Africa, and there are allegations of ‘land grabbing’ of large areas of land from local people, usually by foreign companies, other more localised forms of competition over land are less well understood. This paper presents the case of disputes over grazing land between local communities in Northern Namibia and pastoralists/ herders who entered the area and engage in alleged illegal grazing and fencing of communal land for their large herds of cattle. Fencing off of communal land (without authorisation) is forbidden in Namibia by the Communal Land Reform Act.

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Beyond the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP)? The Political Economy of CAADP Processes in Malawi
June 24, 2014 / Working Papers

Full title: Beyond the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP)? The Political Economy of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Processes in Malawi

Future Agricultures Working Paper 92
Blessings Chinsinga
May 2014

This paper examines the political economy of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process to which Malawi signed up as a way of fundamentally transforming the agricultural sector to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty According to NEPAD (2011), the overarching goal of CAADP is to reconfigure the way agricultural development issues are formulated, policies are generated and debated, investment decisions are implemented and interventions are scrutinised.

The main concern of this paper from a political economy perspective is to examine the nature of stakeholders’ engagement with the CAADP process, given the already impressive growth performance of the agricultural sector in Malawi. The underlying goal was to understand their interests in engaging with the process, the nature of incentives driving them, the strategies employed to advance, promote and defend their interests and the implications thereof on the attainment of the ideals of the CAADP process. This, in turn, shed a great deal of light on whether or not there is any value addition to the country’s agricultural policy processes as a result of engaging in the CAADP process. Taken together, these exercises helped to identify and understand the political, economic and social processes that promote or block pro-poor change as well as the role of institutions, power and the underlying context for policy processes.

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FAC Working Paper 092 Pdf 728.00 KB 7 downloads

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Into the fold: what pastoral responses to crisis tell us about the future of pastoralism in the Horn
June 4, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 91
Jeremy Lind and Lina Rivera Barrero
May 2014

This paper is concerned with how pastoral livelihoods are likely to evolve in areas of the Horn of Africa where processes of incorporation are intensifying. More than ever before, pastoral areas of the Horn of Africa are coming into the fold of wider economic processes. Expropriations of land and key resources in rangelands for the establishment of private ranches and commercial farms, the expansion of roads, telecommunications, and marketing facilities to promote trade and mobility, and investments in hydrocarbons are some of the ways that pastoral areas are being newly encapsulated into regional and global capitalist development. The connections between pastoral areas and wider national, regional and global processes will intensify and become more systematic, codified (in land use planning and statutory tenure, internal revenue and customs, and veterinary rules and regulations, for example), and otherwise formalised.

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FAC Working Paper 091 Pdf 438.60 KB 5 downloads

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Review of research and policies for climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in W Africa
May 28, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 90
Edward R. Rhodes, Abdulai Jalloh and Aliou Diouf
May 2014

The agricultural sector in Africa is very vulnerable to climate change and there is need for strong support to research on adaptation to climate change. A desk study on the synthesis of research and policy on climate change in the agricultural sector in West Africa was undertaken as part of the activities of a platform for exchange between researchers and policymakers for adaptation to climate change (AfricaInteract), a project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and coordinated by the Council for Agricultural Research and Development in West and Central Africa (CORAF/WECARD). The objective of the review is to enhance the knowledge base and support research-based policy formulation for climate change adaptation in the smallholder agricultural sector (crops, livestock, pastoral systems and fisheries) in West Africa. Peer reviewed journal papers, peer reviewed reports of CGIAR centres and international organisations, papers published in conference proceedings and consultancy reports were studied. Materials published from 1995 to 2013 were used for the report.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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FAC Working Paper 090 V2 Pdf 713.94 KB 6 downloads

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Review of research and policies for climate change adaptation in urban areas of West Africa
May 28, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 89
Maruf Sanni, Abdulai Jalloh and Aliou Diouf
April 2014

There has been an unprecedented increase in human population and urban development in recent times. The West African sub-region is no exception. The sub-region’s population is growing at an average annual rate of three percent, and could reach 430m by 2020. Climate change will increase existing urban system challenges in the sub-region. Against this background, the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) commissioned a review of literature on climate change impacts and adaptation in urban areas of West Africa. This was with a view to enhancing the knowledge base and to supporting research-based policy formulation for climate change adaptation in urban areas of West Africa. This review was carried out using peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, grey literature, policy documents, technical reports, relevant government and non-governmental organisation (NGO) documents and libraries over the past 15 to 20 years.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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FAC Working Paper 089 Pdf 2.22 MB 4 downloads

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Review of research and policies for climate change adaptation in the health sector in West Africa
May 28, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 88
Seydou Doumbia, Abdulai Jalloh, Aliou Diouf
April 2014

The African continent is the most vulnerable region in the world to the impacts of climate change. While there is undisputed evidence that the climate is changing, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the pace and extent of the impacts on the sub-regions of Africa. This review is aimed at identifying gaps in research and policymaking for climate change adaptation in the health sector in West Africa. The purpose is to provide information and insights that can be used to bring researchers and policymakers together to improve evidence-based policymaking that can enhance food security and protect populations vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change.

This report is based on a systematic review of literature on climate change and related health risks, policy and adaptation strategy over the past 15 to 20 years. The search included a broad-based review of published, peer reviewed and grey literature and interviews. Priority was given to relationships between climate change and health risks and vulnerability in West African countries, with a focus on Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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FAC Working Paper 088 Pdf 679.53 KB 3 downloads

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Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People in Rwanda
May 27, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 87
Ricardo Sabates, Stephen Devereux and Pamela Abbott

Concern Worldwide launched a programme called ‘Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People’ – known as the ‘Graduation Programme’ in this report – in two districts of southern Rwanda in May 2011. The Graduation Programme is designed to support extremely poor households1 through cash transfers to meet their basic needs, skills development to enable them to improve their livelihood options, and savings to increase resilience to shocks, thereby enabling sustainable exits from poverty.

This report presents the findings from a quantitative survey conducted 12 months after 1st cohort participants on Concern Worldwide Rwanda’s Graduation Programme received their first cash transfer, as well as qualitative research conducted a few months later. The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) component of the programme includes a quantitative baseline survey, a ‘first 12 months survey’ conducted 12 months after the first cash transfer is disbursed (while the cash transfers are still ongoing and before the asset transfer and associated livelihood support begins), and qualitative fieldwork.

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FAC Working Paper 087 V2 Pdf 2.86 MB 7 downloads

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Rice, cows and envy: agriculture and change among young rice producers in Guinea-Bissau
May 24, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 86
Manuel Bivar and Marina Padrão Temudo

In Guinea-Bissau, a country on the West African coast between Senegal, the Republic of Guinea and the Atlantic, rice is the staple food. During the past three decades, agriculture in Guinea- Bissau has undergone a radical transformation. In Guinea-Bissau, there is a common discourse that young people have abandoned the fields and migrated to the city. A process of ‘depeasantization’ has been described, which implies a decline in the time spent working in agriculture, in the income earned from agriculture and in household coherence as a labour unit, leading to rural out-migration. However, the ethnography of the Balanta-Nhacra rural world presented in this paper suggests a process which is far more complex. When we analyse processes of ‘depeasantization’ in the African context, structural factors must also be taken into account.

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FAC Working Paper 086 V2 Pdf 1.33 MB 5 downloads

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The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Process in Burkina Faso…
May 23, 2014 / Working Papers

Full title: The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Process in Burkina Faso: From False Start to Restart Towards Rural Development?

Working Paper 85
Augustin Loada

This report is about the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) by Burkina Faso, and tries to assess if it was a simple means of refreshing the country’s agricultural policies or a starting point towards a new rural development policy.

The current research aims at analysing the implementation of the objectives set at Maputo in Burkina Faso, how the CAADP process was rolled out, and the results. The report starts by analysing the existence of political incentives that made possible a number of initiatives for rural development launched by relatively weak institutions. It then shows how Burkina Faso adhered to the CAADP process whose implementation was characterised by an impasse before it restarted through the formulation of a National Programme for the Rural Sector. The report also analyses the driving forces behind this process and identifies the value added springing from the CAADP implementation. Finally we draw lessons for the upcoming agricultural policies. The current case study relies on a document review and discussions with key informants: representatives of donors (Germany, Denmark), decision makers (Permanent Secretary for the Coordination of Sectoral Agriculture Policies), representatives of private sector and civil society.

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FAC Working Paper 085 Pdf 330.46 KB 4 downloads

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Gender and farming in Ethiopia: an exploration of discourses and implications for policy & research
May 23, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 84
Asrat Ayalew Gella and Getnet Tadele

There is growing realisation that gender matters in African agriculture. However, a comprehensive and properly contextualised analysis of the nature of gender and gender relations as well as the way it comes into play in agriculture is lacking in much of the scholarly and policy debate surrounding the issue. The positioning of men and women in relation to farming, the spaces they are and are not allowed to occupy, the embodied nature of agricultural activities, and their implications to the future of African agriculture and rural youth are among the issues which have attracted little attention thus far. In this paper, we explore the utility of these issues in understanding gender issues within the context of small scale family farming in Ethiopia. Based on two qualitative studies of three rural farming villages and the existing literature, we explore the cultural and highly symbolic construction of ‘the farmer’ as an essentially masculine subject in Ethiopia, and reflect on the reasons behind the continued persistence of this construction and its implications for policy and further research.

We argue that, due to its likely origin and long history of use in the region, the plough occupies a pivotal and privileged place in the history of farming in Ethiopia. Its practical and symbolic importance and its placement in the exclusive domain of men have resulted in the construction of a particularly male centric notion of what it means to be a farmer and who can be considered one. Although it has been argued that men have certain physical advantages that explain this male centric dominance, we suggest that notions of embodiment have better explanatory power since there appear to be important differences in the way men’s and women’s bodies are perceived in relation to farming implements and activities, on the basis of which narratives of what they can and cannot do are constructed. We discuss the implications of this highly gendered construction for the entry routes of young men and women into farming and their relative positioning afterwards. Finally, we reflect on the implications of our findings for current policy and suggest directions for further policy debate and research.

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FAC Working Paper 084 Pdf 426.86 KB 9 downloads

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Becoming a young farmer in Ethiopia: Processes and challenges
May 23, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 83
Getnet Tadele and Asrat Ayalew Gella

The Ethiopian government’s Agricultural Development Led Industrialization strategy emphasises the instrumental role that rural youth could play in transforming the agricultural sector. However, there exists a significant body of literature documenting the unfavourable attitudes many young people hold towards a future in agriculture. Despite their negative attitudes, the fact remains that many rural youth are likely to adopt farming as their principal or only means of livelihood, either by choice or the lack of other options. Rural youth encounter a number of insurmountable problems when they set out to be farmers. Other than attitudinal issues, the many difficulties that young people in Ethiopia have to traverse in the process of becoming a farmer, even when they are willing to be one, have not been adequately explored. Drawing from two different qualitative studies of rural youth in three farming communities in the Amhara and SNNP regions, this paper explores the process(es) through which rural youth enter into and become farmers, and the challenges and opportunities they come across in this transition. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with different groups of rural youth as well as older farmers and key informant interviews with different stakeholders were conducted in 2011 and 2012.

Overall, our findings show that education, access to land, asset base, gender and local context are important factors which significantly affect who becomes a farmer and who does not. Our findings particularly draw attention to the influence of education and gender. The impact of being educated, both in terms of its effect on the desirability of a future in farming as well as complicating later entry into farming, is one that needs to be recognised by policymakers. The role of gender in young men’s and women’s choice to become farmers, the routes they take to becoming farmers and the lives they lead as farmers is also a key area for further research and policy dialogue. Finally, facilitating meaningful access to land for rural youth along with the expansion of both on-farm and off-farm livelihood opportunities in the agri-food continuum is another area which needs to be addressed urgently.

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FAC Working Paper 083 Pdf 1.47 MB 7 downloads

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Cautious commercialisation. Findings from village studies in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and…
May 23, 2014 / Working Papers

Full title: Cautious commercialisation. Findings from village studies in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi & Tanzania

Working Paper 82
Steve Wiggins, Gem Argwings-Kodhek, Samuel Gebreselassie, Samuel Asuming-Brempong, Ephraim Chirwa, Mirriam Muhome Matita, Ntengua Mode & Khamaldin Mutabazi

Commercialisation can be central to agricultural development, with the promise of contributing to economic growth, with the reduction of poverty and hunger. Africa has seen many episodes of more commercial smallholder farming, from the export crop booms in West Africa of the late nineteenth century to more recent spurts in production of food for domestic markets. Unfortunately such episodes have not been more widespread, nor in some cases have they been sustained.

This paper looks at experience of commercialisation in selected parts of Africa in the late 2000s, to shed light on key questions asked about the process, including:

  • How do farmers commercialise, which small farmers commercialise and to what extent, and what are the drivers of change?
  • What are the benefits of commercialisation, both directly to farmers, as well as indirectly to those who may benefit from linkages in the rural economy that create additional jobs?
  • Are there drawbacks? For example, in reduced food security as cash crops replace food production, increased inequality, further disadvantage to female farmers, higher risks to vulnerable smallholders or harm to the environment?
  • What policies and programmes lead to commercialisation with desirable outcomes? What should be the role of governments, donors who assist them, private enterprise and civil society in promoting favourable commercialisation?
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FAC Working Paper 082 Pdf 2.06 MB 7 downloads

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Changing elderly & changing youth: Knowledge exchange & labour allocation in southern Guinea-Bissau
May 23, 2014 / Working Papers

Full title: Changing elderly and changing youth: Knowledge exchange and labour allocation in a village of southern Guinea-Bissau

Working Paper 81
Joana Sousa, Ansomane Dabo and Ana Luisa Luz

The Nalu people in Cablola, a small village in southern Guinea-Bissau, practice a mixed farming system that includes upland farms, mangrove rice fields and orchards. People produce a wide array of crops for the purchase of rice, which is the main staple food. Currently in Guinea-Bissau the cashew nut is the main cash crop, which is extensively sold and/or bartered for rice for household consumption. Even though local people experience rice scarcity.

In villages nearby to Cablola, many Balanta people are devoted to mangrove rice farming and are experts on this farming system, which requires considerable knowledge, skill and labour. Mangrove rice farming produces higher yields than upland rice farming, and although there was some production recovery recently, mangrove rice production has been largely abandoned in the region. In 2010, the youngsters in Cablola founded an association, known as Youngsters Unite. The recovery of mangrove rice farming, and particularly the role of the association in this work, has been challenging old and present-day leaderships, (re)negotiating relationships and trust, and promoting knowledge exchange between both elders and youngsters and between the Balanta and the Nalu people. The association, within its social context, has boosted the ‘courage’, as farmers say, needed to build a dyke with mud and hand plough.

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FAC Working Paper 081b Pdf 1.97 MB 6 downloads

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Graduation from the Food Security Programme in Ethiopia: FAC Ethiopia Final Report
May 23, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 80
Stephen Devereux, Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Mulugeta Tefera Taye, Ricardo Sabates and Feyera Sima

The Government of Ethiopia launched the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in 2005. The overarching objective of the FSP was to break Ethiopia’s chronic dependence on annual emergency appeals for humanitarian assistance, by providing structured support to food insecure households over an extended period. The initial expectation was that the numbers of PSNP participants would fall over time as households achieved food security and no longer needed programme support. In reality, the numbers increased due to several shocks that increased food insecurity in rural Ethiopia, such as food price spikes and rain failures. This highlights the challenge of ‘graduating’ households out of chronic food insecurity in a fragile agro-ecological context characterised by dependence on rain-fed agriculture but with highly variable rainfall.

This study aims to add to the understanding of how graduation is happening in Ethiopia through the Food Security Programme. The specific objectives of this study are:

  • To explore how graduation is conceptualised and operationalised in Ethiopia’s Food Security Programme, from the perspective of both programme administrators and programme participants.
  • To analyse the range of factors that ‘enable’ and ‘constrain’ graduation at different levels, from programme design and implementation to participants’ or beneficiaries’ characteristics, to contextual factors such as market access and climate variability.
  • To draw lessons for good practice and recommendations for improved graduation outcomes, from suggestions made by programme administrators and participants.
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FAC Working Paper 080 Pdf 1.62 MB 6 downloads

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Young people, agriculture, and employment in rural Africa
April 23, 2014 / Working Papers

WIDER Working Paper 2014/080
James Sumberg,  Nana Akua Anyidoho,  Michael Chasukwa, Blessings Chinsinga, Jennifer Leavy, Getnet Tadele, Stephen Whitfield, and Joseph Yaro
April 2014

This paper examines the current interest in addressing the problem of young people’s unemployment in Africa through agriculture. Using notions of transitions and mobilities we set out a transformative work and opportunity space framework that privileges difference and diversity among work opportunities, rural areas and young people. We argue that policy and programmes that seek to engage young people with agriculture must be more realistic, rooted in more context-specific economic and social analysis, and appreciative of the variety of ways that rural men and women use agriculture to serve their needs and interests.

Social protection and graduation: Case of heifer-in-trust in Burkina Faso
April 15, 2014 / Working Papers

Working Paper 79
Gountiéni Damien Lankoandé and James Sumberg

March 2014

The distribution of livestock to poor people, commonly known as heifer-in-trust (HIT) or ‘livestock-in-kind credit’, can be seen as a specific type of asset-based social protection. Because of their growth and reproductive potential, some suggest that livestock can play a particularly important role in asset accumulation and thus graduation. This study tests the assumption that livestock will remain a part of the asset portfolio of HIT recipients. Beneficiaries of five HIT-type projects in Burkina Faso were interviewed. The analysis suggests that either because of poor targeting or an appreciation of the demands of livestock keeping, the HIT projects are not reaching the poorest. It also provides only limited support to the assumption that poor people will use the HIT gift to increase their livestock assets. There would appear to be good reason to question the general proposition that livestock are a particularly appropriate asset for transfer to the poor. Because of the demands of livestock – in terms for example of feed, water and management – for the poorest, they may be more of a liability. Understanding the role of asset-transfer programmes in graduation demands a holistic understanding of asset dynamics, which presents important methodological challenges.

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FAC Working Paper 079 Pdf 1.64 MB 3 downloads

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Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa: Has CAADP Made a Difference? A Rwanda Case Study
March 17, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 78
Frederick Golooba-Mutebi
February 2014

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is an African Union initiative intended to accelerate agricultural growth across Africa and improve food security as well as strengthen the resilience of the continent’s environment. Rwanda has been enthusiastic in its embrace of the initiative, with the government making an effort to fulfil all its obligations. Has CAADP made a difference? This paper argues that it has, and that in this, it has been helped significantly by the government’s own prior ambitions and the centrality of agriculture therein. Section 2 of the paper explores the background against which Rwanda embraced CAADP, showing evolutions in thinking about agriculture among the country’s policy elite and its development partners.

Section 2.1 looks at the politico-social incentives for agricultural policy, while section 2.2 looks at the steps taken to revalorise agriculture once a decision was made that it would be a key component of the foundation on which the country’s wider strategy for pursuing prosperity would rest. The post-war political settlement has been important in providing the necessary stability without which the pursuit of development is impossible. Section 2.3 examines the contours of the settlement, while section 3 tells the story of how CAADP in Rwanda unfolded.

Section 3.1 highlights the critical role of donors whose efforts have been supplemented by those of non-donor actors, including the business community and farmers’ groups, both of which are explored in sections 3.2 and 3.3. Section 4 highlights the limited but still important regional dimension of the CAADP process, while section 5 assesses the overall significance of CAADP in cementing the central role of agriculture in Rwanda’s pursuit of economic development and prosperity, before section 6 wraps up the story.

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FAC Working Paper 078 Pdf 1.32 MB 4 downloads

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The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP): Political Incentives, Value…
March 17, 2014 / Working Papers

Full title: The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP): Political Incentives, Value Added and Ways Forward

Future Agricultures Working Paper 77
Colin Poulton, Kassahun Berhanu, Blessings Chinsinga, Brian Cooksey, Frederick Golooba-Mutebi and Augustin Loada
February 2014

It is now ten years since African Heads of State made their declaration in support of the continent’s agricultural sector in Maputo in July 2003. This paper contributes to a small but growing body of independent critical analysis of CAADP, and to debates on future directions for the programme. The paper draws on studies of CAADP engagement in six countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania) plus preliminary reflections on two more (Kenya and Mozambique). Its particular contribution is to examine CAADP’s interaction with domestic political incentives for support to smallholder agriculture in African countries. Following Poulton 2012, we differentiate countries according to whether the domestic political incentives to invest in smallholder agriculture are strong or weak. In the former, the key question for CAADP is what value it can add to existing policy and planning frameworks for the agriculture sector. In the latter, which are more numerous, the key question is whether the CAADP process contains any mechanisms or provisions that can significantly change the incentives perceived by the governments in question. Experience to date is reviewed and ways forward for CAADP’s second decade are suggested.

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FAC Working Paper 077 Pdf 1.27 MB 5 downloads

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Narratives of scarcity: understanding the ‘global resource grab’
February 17, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 76
Ian Scoones, Rebecca Smalley, Ruth Hall and Dzodzi Tsikata
February 2014

Global resource scarcity has become a central policy concern, with predictions of rising populations, natural resource depletion and hunger. Resulting narratives of scarcity drive behaviour and justify actions to harness resources considered ‘under-utilised’, leading to contestations over rights and entitlements and producing new scarcities. Yet scarcity is contingent, contextual and above all political. We present an analysis of three framings – absolute scarcity, relative scarcity and political scarcity – associated with the intellectual traditions of Malthus, Ricardo and Marx, respectively. A review of 134 global and Africa-specific policy and related sources produced over the past six years demonstrates how diverse framings of scarcity – what it is, its causes and what is to be done – are evident in competing narratives that animate debates about the future of food and farming in Africa and globally. We argue that current mainstream narratives emphasise absolute and relative scarcity, while ignoring political scarcity. We suggest a more political framing of scarcity requires paying attention to how resources are distributed between different needs and uses, and so different people and social classes. This requires, we argue, a policy emphasis for land and resource issues on rights and access, and distributional issues, centred on equity and justice.

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FAC Working Paper 076 Pdf 1.37 MB 5 downloads

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