APRA presents at AAAE conference

“Rising to meet new challenges: Africa’s agricultural development beyond 2020 Vision” was the theme for the 6th  African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) triennial conference, which took place on the 23-26th September 2019 at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria. Professor G. B. Ayoola, the President at Farm & Infrastructure Foundation (FIF) chaired the 6th AAAE Conference Local Organising Committee. In his opening remarks, he stated that the successive failures of agricultural policies in Nigeria and other countries in Africa were due to inadequate technologies in place and an unfavourable policy environment.

The AAAE conference explored the recent developments in agricultural systems across Africa. Key drivers of change include climate, rapid urbanisation, productivity-enhancing innovation, population growth, the rise of agripreneurship, land reform, as well as policy and investment priorities by governments and development partners. Attending the conference included leading scholars, policy makers, agribusiness representatives and development practitioners to examine how these new mega-trends could reposition agricultural development in Africa.

The APRA consortium is a five-year research program working to respond to these issues. Its activities cover three streams in six focal countries across Africa, aiming to generate new evidence on pathways to agricultural commercialisation.

APRA Nigeria and Ghana researchers were involved in a session on; ‘‘Insights into Agricultural Commercialisation in Africa:  New Research Evidence and Implications for Policy’’. This session  highlighted evidence on pathways into agricultural commercialisation in Sub-Saharan Africa, and included presentations on APRA research in medium-scale farms in Nigeria (Ondo and Osun states), livelihood trajectories in Nigeria’s cocoa economy, and the history of cocoa commercialisation in Ghana.

Prof. Aromolaran delivers his presentation on medium scale farms

The following APRA papers were presented:

Medium-scale farming as a pathway into smallholder agricultural commercialisation: Evidence from Nigeria

Authors: Milu Muyanga, Adebayo Aromolaran, TS Jayne, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, Thomas Jayne, Titus Awokuse.  

Prof Aromolaran highlighted the need for a better understanding of the effects of changing farm size distributions to guide policies, aimed at achieving agricultural commercialisation and broader economic transformation objectives, such as improvement in food security and welfare among smallholder communities.

Livelihood Trajectories in Nigeria’s Cocoa economy:  Evidence from South West Nigeria
Authors:  Olajide O. Adeola, Kehinde Thomas, Seun, Olutayo and Tayo Adeyemo . Dr  Kehinde

Prof. Thomas presented the research findings discovered that a number of things are competing for the future of cocoa in those region. In Osun there is emergence of gold mining, which is a threat to the future of cocoa. As a matter of fact people prefer to sell their fields and pull off all the cocoa trees for them to have gold.

The History of Cocoa Commercialisation in Ghana

Authors: Kodjo Amanor, Joseph Teye and Kofi T. Asante.

The commercialisation of cocoa was examined against the backdrop of the changing relationship between factors of production, including: the availability of land, labour and capital, and the interactions of these factors with technology and markets. Furthermore, the impact upon the role of the household and family in production and in processes of social differentiation were scrutinised.

Several posters were presented during the session, including those which focused on “Understanding the Present from the Past” in cocoa production. Post-graduate students from the University of Ibadan and other universities also gave short presentations on their research findings on Cocoa production which were given APRA funding:

Other Posters Displayed were:

1.         Agrarian Change and Cocoa Commercialisation in Nigeria-Pre Independence Perspectives

2.         Post-Independence Agricultural Policies and Agricultural Commercialisation in Nigeria

3.         Agricultural Commercialisation in Nigeria-Post Structural Adjustment Program

4.         Historical, Ethnography and Sociological Review on Women’s Agrarian Systems in Nigeria

5.         Effect of Welfare on Cocoa Farmer’s Participation in Crop Insurance in Ondo State

Plenary Session: New Landscapes and Challenges Confronting Africa’s Transforming Food Systems

  1. Changing farm structure and rural transformation in Africa

Authors T. S. Jayne, Milu Muyanga, Adebayo Aromolaran, Hosaena Ghebru, Antony Chapoto, Ayala Wineman, Kwame Yeboah, D. van der Westhuizen

Featured image credit: @afraaecon – Twitter