Agriculture

Agriculture is a key pathway out of poverty. Getting growth moving through different types of agriculture in ways that benefit poor people is a major policy priority. However, while many of the technical problems and solutions are well known, previous efforts have been found wanting.

IDS research aims to revitalise the debate on agriculture. Our focuses are on the politics of policy processes surrounding agricultural development, particularly in Africa. Through context sensitive research in a diversity of settings, we aim to explore new pathways for sustainable agriculture which benefit the poor and marginalised.

Work on agriculture involves a number of IDS teams and is conducted with partners worldwide.

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Photo of Dolf te Lintelo More details

Photo of Dominic Glover More details

Photo of Edoardo Massett More details

Photo of Ian Scoones, Research Fellow More details

Photo of Imogen Bellwood-Howard More details

Jody Harris photo More details

Photo of John Thompson, a Research Fellow in the IDS Rural Futures research cluster More details

Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mora photo More details

Photo of Justin Flynn, Rural Futures Research Officer More details

IDS staff or research student More details

Lidia Cabral photo More details

Marina Apgar photo More details

Photo of Martin Greeley, IDS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Melissa Leach, IDS Director More details

Miguel Loureiro photo More details

Photo of Nathan Oxley, Communications Assistant, STEPS Centre More details

Photo of Nick Nisbett, IDS Research Fellow in the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction team More details

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Photo of Rachel Sabates Wheeler More details

Photo of Richard Longhurst, a Research Associate More details

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Policy Instruments and Public-Private Collaborations

The collaboration will assess policy approaches to economic inclusion of highly marginalised populations (displaced, indigenous, Afro-Colombian, extremely poor) in agricultural value chains in Colombia. It will focus on a key policy instrument – public-private partnerships – and on approaches that support stabilisation in post-conflict regions. More details

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Agriculture: Enabling Factors and Impact on the Rural Poor

This research will identify the key factors driving the effectivness of public-private partnerships (PPPs) at bringing sustained increases in income for smallholder farmers at scale and delivering positive development outcomes across rural communities. More details

Resilience, Adaptability, and Transformability of Fishing Communities in the Face of the World Fisheries Crisis

This project is a response to the initial DFID-ESRC 'Resource scarcity, growth, and poverty reduction' call and it is titled "Tangled in their (own) safety-nets?: Resilience, adaptability, and transformability of fishing communities in the face of the World fisheries crisis. More details

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre

The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development. More details

Veterinary Science, Transboundary Animal Diseases and Markets

Focusing on the case of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in southern Africa – and specifically Botswana, Nambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe – this research is exploring the economic, social and political trade-offs arising from disease control strategies geared towards promoting commercial beef exports and achieving a ‘livestock revolution’. More details

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View all Research Theme's publications

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Wp505_FrontCover

Inclusive Structural Change: Case Studies on Innovations in Breeding Practices in Kenya and Anti-Retroviral Therapy Service Provision in Mozambique

IDS Working Paper 505 (2018)

Innovation, accompanied by structural change, is at the heart of economic growth and development. Yet there is limited evidence to understand interactions between innovation, structural change and inclusion in the context of low-income and emerging countries, or how these processes best support sustainable and inclusive societies. More details

PB147_Cover

Addressing Climate Change Uncertainty in Dryland Kachchh, India

IDS Policy Briefing 147 (2018)

The semi-arid district of Kachchh in Gujarat, India is known for its erratic rainfall, water scarcity, and droughts. Climate change has intensified extreme temperature and rainfall patterns and also led to changes to the long coastline. More details

PB146_FrontCover

Public–Private Cooperation for Secure and Inclusive Rural Economies

IDS Policy Briefing 146 (2017)

How do public–private collaborations enable secure and inclusive rural economies? Alongside private sector investment, government provision of infrastructure, research and extension services and support for farmer organisations remains crucial. More details

PB145_FrontCover

Improving the Impact of Climate Information Services in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands

IDS Policy Briefing 145 (2017)

Climate variability and change are affecting millions of poor people in Kenya, particularly in arid and semi-arid lands. Significant investments are being made in developing Climate Information Services (CIS) which are tailored to the needs of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists and aim to help them adapt to the impact of climate change in these regions. More details

Valuing Agroecological Farmers: findings from participatory research on alternative economic approaches to support agroecology in the UK

This paper looks at the potential usefulness of triple bottom line accounting, and also explores other approaches, in financial accounting, for ecological and social outcomes and the effects of different farming methods. It then provides details of the presentations given by three witnesses and a summary of the outcomes of the farmer panel deliberation. More details

Valuing Agroecological Farmers: What Can We Learn From Alternative Economic Approaches to Ensure the Contribution of Agroecological Farmers is Valued Appropriately? Findings From Participatory Research

This paper looks at the potential usefulness of triple bottom line accounting, and also explores other approaches, in financial accounting, for ecological and social outcomes and the effects of different farming methods. It then provides details of the presentations given by three witnesses and a summary of the outcomes of the farmer panel deliberation. More details

Why Access to Land is Vital for Sustainable, Healthy and Fair Food Systems: Strategies for Increasing Access to Land for Agroecological Farming

In partnership between the Institute of Development Studies and the Land Workers’ Alliance, research has been undertaken to identify strategies for increasing access to land for agroecological production, in order to contribute to a transition towards sustainable – or even regenerative – food systems in the UK. This briefing summarises these strategies. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Public-Private Collaborations: Can they Deliver Secure and Inclusive Rural Economies?

This paper looks at the role of public-private collaborations, specifically public-private partnerships (PPPs), in enabling secure and inclusive rural economies. More details

This is the front cover of Rural Transformations 46 3 Rural transformation, cereals and youth in Africa: What role for international agricultural research?

Rural Transformation, Cereals and Youth in Africa: What Role for International Agricultural Research?

Outlook on Agriculture 46.3 (2017)

Young people are increasingly linked to targeted agriculture and food security interventions. In Africa, the argument is that the combination of agricultural value chains, technology and entrepreneurship will unlock a sweet spot for youth employment. More details

IDS publications on international development research

A New Professionalism for Agricultural Research for Development

International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (2017)
STEPS Working Paper cover

Configurations of Agency and Power in the Academic Discourse on the Green Revolution in East Africa

Working Paper by Saurabh Arora on the representations of 'agency' in human and non-human actors (for example, governments, scientists and technologies) in literature on the Green Revolution in East Africa. The author also explores what is masked or hidden by the way these agents are represented. More details

Agronomy for Development book cover

Agronomy for Development: The Politics of Knowledge in Agricultural Research

Over the last decade there has been renewed interest in food security and the state of the global food system. Population growth, climate change and food price spikes have combined to focus new attention on the technologies and institutions that underpin the production and consumption of food that is varied, nutritious and safe. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Youth Savings Groups in Africa: They’re a Family Affair

Enterprise Development and Microfinance (2017)

Based on field work in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Ghana, in the paper we provide new evidence that young people’s engagement with savings groups in Africa is deeply embedded in networks of family and social relations. Savings group members rely on money that is given to them by husbands, boyfriends and parents in order to save, and give some of their shareouts and loans to family and friends. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Bulletin 483, 'Africa’s Youth Employment
Challenge: New Perspectives'.

Africa’s Youth Employment Challenge: New Perspectives

IDS Bulletin 48.3 (2017)

Who are the youth and what is the problem? Are entrepreneurship and self-employment the solution? And what about youth aspirations? Such questions are addressed in this issue of the IDS Bulletin, drawing from the literature on how development research affects policy and noting that it says little about how young researchers move into policy engagement. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Bulletin 483, 'Africa’s Youth Employment
Challenge: New Perspectives'.

Africa’s Youth Employment Challenge: New Perspectives

IDS Bulletin 48.3 (2017)

Who are the youth and what is the problem? Are entrepreneurship and self-employment the solution? And what about youth aspirations? Such questions are addressed in this issue of the IDS Bulletin, drawing from the literature on how development research affects policy and noting that it says little about how young researchers move into policy engagement. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Heirloom Rice in Ifugao: An 'Anti-Commodity' in the Process of Commodification

The Journal of Peasant Studies (2017)

‘Heirloom rice’ is a boundary concept that enables social entrepreneurs to commodify traditional landraces. More details

PB135_FrontCover

Increasing Youth Participation in Livestock Production in Kenya

IDS Policy Briefing 135 (2017)

Agriculture is a primary source of employment in Kenya. Most employment takes the form of smallholder crop and livestock farming, either as a main or supplementary livelihood activity. More details

This is the front cover from MAVC Practice Paper Building an Ecosystem Around Data: Using Interactive Radio for Accountability to Farmers in Tanzania

Building an Ecosystem Around Data: Using Interactive Radio for Accountability to Farmers in Tanzania

This practice paper discusses research by Farm Radio International to assess the effectiveness of one of its projects, the Listening Post, and to examine its potential as a tool for the adaptive management of agricultural programmes. The Listening Post combines specialised interactive radio broadcasts with in interactive voice response tool created for gathering and analysing feedback and questions from audience members. More details

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