FAC-Hosted Events

FAC co-hosts annual events to highlight key issues related to FAC work in Africa.

Already, in 2011 FAC has hosted two international conferences, The Future of eventscatdescipPastoralism and The International Conference on Global Land Grabbing.

In 2010, we held a major conference Awakening Africa’s Sleeping Giant looking at expanding internationally competitive agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. We also hosted University of the Bush to discuss pastoralists priorities.

In 2009, we held a major conference on‘Seasonality Revisited’, looking at the influence of changing patterns of seasonality on production and livelihoods.

In late 2008, FAC co-hosted a major international workshop on farmer-led innovation for agricultural research and development.

The first was a collaboration with theSalzburg Global Seminar that focused on ‘Towards an African Green Revolution?’ and was chaired by Kofi Annan, chair of AGRA.

Young People, Farming and Food

19 – 21 March 2012 An international conference on the future of the agrifood sector in Africa.

The conference will critically examine, from both research and policy perspectives:


  • Dominant and alternative framings and narratives, and recent empirical data, relating to how young people engage with the agrifood sector in Africa (as producers, entrepreneurs, employees, consumers and citizens)
  • The dynamics of change in different components of the agri-food sector and the implications of these dynamics for young people
  • The implications for young people of alternative policy approaches to the development of the agrifood sector

International Conference on Global Land Grabbing

6-8 April 2011 Organised by the Land DealsLandGrabConf_093_reg-small Politics Initiative ( LDPI) in collaboration with the Journal of Peasant Studies and hosted by the Future Agricultures Consortium at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

The focus of the conference was on the politics of global land grabbing and agrarian change. The papers and panels address some of the most urgent and strategic questions around global land grab.

Future of Pastoralism

Mobility21 – 23 March 2011 An international conference to debate the future of pastoralists in Africa.

The future of pastoralism in Africa is uncertain and radical changes are affecting Pastoralist areas in terms of access to resources, options for mobility and opportunities for marketing. These changes bring new possibilities for making pastoralist livelihoods stronger but many questions remain about the sustainability of these changes: Is there opportunity for a productive, vibrant, market-oriented livelihood system or will pastoralist areas remain a backwater of underdevelopment, marginalisation and severe poverty? How can pastoralist ‘drop-outs’ be supported after they leave the livelihood but continue to interact with the livestock sector?

Africa Seminar Series 2010

coffee_pickingFAC has been exploring what needs to be done to get different forms of agriculture – food/cash crops, livestock/pastoralism, smallholdings/contract farming/large holdings – moving on a track of increasing productivity and competitiveness. Through a series of debates, dialogues and conferences – at local, national and global levels – the Consortium has been asking in particular: what are the challenges for institutional design and wider policy processes, from local to global arenas?

Our commitment to encouraging dialogue and the sharing of good practice by policy makers and opinion formers in Africa on the role of agriculture in broad based growth continues in this new series of African agriculture seminars.

In partnership with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), FAC is launching a new series of discussions about timely agriculture topics with key presentations by experts.

University of the Bush

UoB22 – 24 November 2010 All across northern Kenya pastroralists are talking about the new constitution voted by the Kenya Parliament in August 2010. Devolution of power to the new county system could mean local elected administrations responding better to pastoralist priorities. Defining those priorities and the ways in which the political opportunities can best be engaged is a question on many people’s minds. An upcoming seminar in the University of the Bush series will provide a forum for pastoralists to discuss the new opportunities and share innovations in institutions, trade and technology and how they might be used or developed to make the most of new political space.

Awakening Africa’s Sleeping Giant

AWAKENING21-22 June 2010 FAC and its partner SOAS (Faculty of Law and Social Sciences) convened an international workshop to critically assess the prospects for dramatically expanding internationally competitive agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on the Guinea Savannah agro-ecological zone.

Awakening Africa’s Sleeping Giant’ explores the feasibility of restoring international competitiveness and growth in African agriculture through the identification of products and production systems that can underpin rapid development of a competitive commercial agriculture.

Based in a careful examination of the factors that contributed to the successes achieved in Brazil and Thailand, as well as comparative analysis of evidence obtained through detailed case studies of three African countries – Mozambique, Nigeria, and Zambia – the authors argue that opportunities abound for farmers in Africa to regain international competitiveness, especially in light of projected stronger world markets for agricultural commodities over the long term. This provides reasons for optimism regarding the future prospects for agriculture as a major source of inclusive growth in many parts of Africa.

Seasonality Revisited

Conference-Logo---final8-10 July 2009 The Seasonality Revisited International Conference, was held at the Institute of Development Studies. It concluded that the costs of ignoring the seasonal dimensions of poverty are enormous, despite seasonality being rarely reflected in agricultural investment and social protection policies.

The conference was organised by the Future Agricultures Consortium and the Centre for Social Protection to help put the ‘seasonality of poverty’ back in the policy agenda.

Toward a ‘Green Revolution’ in Africa?


30 April – 2 May 2008 The “Toward a ‘Green Revolution’ in Africa?” conference and subsequent seminar asked what lessons can be extracted from recent successes in African agricultural development and how can recent growth be sustained, expanded, and accelerated? How can new investments and actors in African agriculture support efforts to align policies and political processes to support agricultural as well as broader development goals? How can innovation systems be made robust, relevant and sustainable? How can the hardware of science and technology be linked to the software of institutions, policy and social dynamics? How should agricultural science and technology in Africa be governed?

Farm First Revisted


12-14 December 2007 The Future Agricultures Consortium in association with the STEPS Centre at Sussex hosted an international workshop, ‘Farmer First Revisited’, at IDS to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the original ‘Farmer First’ event.