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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Accelerating Progress in Reducing Hunger and Undernutrition

This programme will focus on how agriculture can deliver better nutrition outcomes by developing evidence-based policy options and tools for businesses, governments, NGOs and donors. More details

Addressing Synergies and Trade-Offs between Goals for Climate-Resilient Agricultural Systems

What factors lead state and market actors in Africa to commit to implementing more ‘climate smart’ and ‘climate resilient’ agricultural approaches and practices that promoting more sustainable and pro-poor outcomes? This study is examining how different governance systems are handling the complex interface between food, energy, water and climate in pursuit of the SDGs pertaining to these sectors in four countries in Africa. More details

African Farmer Game

African Farmer is a free, open source game that simulates the complex decisions and uncertainties faced by small-scale farmers living in Sub-Saharan Africa. More details

AgMIP Global Economic Model Intercomparison

The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) hosted by the Columbia University Earth Institute is a major international effort to assess the state of global agricultural modelling and to understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector. More details

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA)

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year, DFID-funded, research programme consortium which aims to produce new evidence and policy insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Africa and their differential outcomes for local people and economies. More details

Assessing the Impacts of Enhancing Access to Nutritious Foods

The objective of the research is to develop capacity and an analytical approach for the analysis of value chains-based initiatives aimed at enhancing access and consumption of nutritious foods by the poor and to use this learning to develop research proposals on leveraging value chains for nutrition. More details

Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Mixed-Methods Study to Inform Policy and Programs

The goal of the Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa study is to strengthen and deepen knowledge of: the employment dynamics of rural young people, and the relationships between these dynamics and welfare; and the socially and spatially differentiated perspectives of rural young people on work, employment and livelihoods. Research is taking place in Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso. More details

China and Brazil in African Agriculture

The question of how Brazil, China and other 'rising powers' may change African agricultural development is critical and timely. More details

Economy-wide Implications of Agricultural Sector Scenario Projections

The aim of this project is to link the world agricultural model IMPACT housed at IFRI with the global multi-region CGE model GLOBE in order to provide quantitative analyses of the wider implications of agricultural sector scenario projections generated by IMPACT for the rest of the economy, and to enable an assessment of the aggregate welfare effects associated with changes in the agricultural sector that include economy-wide linkage effects. More details

Enhancing Effectiveness of Multi-Stakeholder Platforms in Food and Agriculture

The kind of challenges that the food and agriculture sector is faced with increasingly asks for approaches that can engage effectively with related complexities. Much is invested in multi-stakeholder platforms as they hold a potential for playing an important role in doing so. However, there is a great need to assess their contribution to inclusive and sustainable development, and to assess what makes for effective platforms. More details

Fighting Over Land: Theory and Empirical Evidence from Colombia

The aim of this project is to develop a research agenda on the long-term effect of civil conflict on institutions, particularly on land tenure structure, in Colombia. More details

Framework for Assessing the Impacts of Efforts to Enhance Access to Nutritious Foods

The objective of this research is to develop capacity and an analytical approach for the analysis of value chains-based initiatives aimed at enhancing access and consumption of nutritious foods by the poor and to use this learning to develop research proposals on leveraging value chains for nutrition. More details

Future Agricultures Consortium

The DFID funded Future Agricultures Consortium is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa. More details

GM Crops and Indigenous Management Skill

This project examines the effects of GM seeds on the ‘indigenous management skill’ (IMS) that is crucial to the productivity and sustainability of small-scale crop cultivation. More details

GODAN Action - Enabling practical engagement with open data in agriculture and nutrition

GODAN Action brings together agriculture and nutrition specialists and open data experts and will support GODAN in its mission by building people’s capacity to engage with open data More details

Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa (GroFutures)

GroFutures is a 4-year interdisciplinary research project aiming to develop the scientific basis and participatory management processes by which groundwater resources can be used sustainably for poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa. More details

Impact Evaluation of the PSNP and HAPB 2012

Since 2003, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has been implementing a new Food Security Programme (FSP). In 2009, this programme was reviewed and reformulated. More details

Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa (ISSD-Africa)

The goal of ISSD Africa Programme is to support the development of a market-oriented, pluralistic, vibrant and dynamic seed sector in Africa for providing both female and male smallholder farmers access to quality seed of superior varieties. More details

Livelihoods After Land Reform

This collaborative project, which involves IDS and is led by the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) in South Africa, asks: to what extent is land redistribution in southern Africa achieving poverty reduction and livelihood improvement objectives? More details

Matasa Fellows Network

An exciting initiative to support young African scholars engage their research with policy on youth employment in Africa. More details

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View all Research Theme's publications

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This is the cover to IDS Research Report 81, 'Patterns of Engagement with Youth Savings Groups: in Four African Countries'.

Patterns of Engagement with Youth Savings Groups in Four African Countries

IDS Research Report 81 (2016)

This report details findings of research undertaken under the Banking on Change Academic Partnership, which was established in 2014 between the Banking on Change (BoC) programme (a partnership of Plan UK, CARE International UK and Barclays Bank) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). More details

IDS publications on international development research

Perspectives on Desirable Work: Findings from a Q Study with Students and Parents in Rural Ghana

The European Journal of Development Research (2016)

The perspectives of young people and parents are important to policy that seeks to address youth unemployment in Africa. A systematic understanding of these should help to avoid implementation failure caused by incompatible assumptions or world views, and increase the likelihood that policies promoted by officials will be effective. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Brazil’s Agricultural Politics in Africa: More Food International and the Disputed Meanings of ‘family farming'.

World Development 81 (2016)

Brazil's influence in agricultural development in Africa has become noticeable in recent years. South–South cooperation is one of the instruments for engagement, and affinities between Brazil and African countries are invoked to justify the transfer of technology and public policies. More details

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A New Politics of Development Cooperation? Chinese and Brazilian Engagements in African Agriculture

World Development 81 (2016)

The paper asks if a new paradigm for development cooperation is emerging, and argues that we must move beyond the simplistic narratives of either 'South–South' collaboration or “neo-imperial” expansion of “rising powers” to look at the dynamic and contested politics of engagement, as new forms of capital and technology enter African contexts. More details

Non-IDS publication

Imagining Agricultural Development in South–South Cooperation: The Contestation and Transformation of ProSAVANA

World Development 81 (2016)

ProSAVANA is a joint Japan–Brazil–Mozambique initiative in the savannah zone of Mozambique's Nacala Corridor region that was initially inspired by the Japan–Brazil PRODECER program in Brazil's Cerrado region More details

IDS publications on international development research

Disembedding grain: Golden Rice, the Green Revolution, and heirloom seeds in the Philippines.

Agriculture and Human Values (2016)

"Golden Rice" has played a key role in arguments over genetically modified (GM) crops for many years. It is routinely depicted as a generic GM vitamin tablet in a generic plant bound for the global South. But the release of Golden Rice is on the horizon only in the Philippines, a country with a storied history and complicated present, and contested future for rice production and consumption. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Chinese Engagement in African Agriculture is Not What is Seems: Africa

SABI Magazine - Tydskrif 8.4 (2016)

In December 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping flew into South Africa for the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation with great fanfare. There were lots of announcements about prospective investments across Africa. Agriculture featured prominently. But what is the real story of China in Africa on the ground, beyond the hype? More details

IDS publications on international development research

The adoption problem; or why we still understand so little about technological change in African agriculture

Outlook on Agriculture 45.1 (2016)

The notion of adoption is central to efforts to measure technological change in African agriculture, and plays an important role in the evaluation of return on investment in agricultural research and technology development. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Enhancing Innovation in Livestock Value Chains through Networks: Lessons from Fodder Innovation Case Studies in Developing Countries

This chapter is taken from the book 'Innovation for Inclusive Value Chain Development: Successes and Challenges'. The chapter analyses the strategies and results of programs hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to improve farmers’ welfare in Ethiopia, Syria, and Vietnam by integrating fodder production into their livestock systems. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Assessing the Effectiveness of Agri-Food Value Chain Interventions Aimed at Enhancing Consumption of Nutritious Food by the Poor: Conceptual Framework

LANSA Working Paper Series 2015.04 (2015)

South Asia has experienced rapid economic growth, yet it still has the highest rate of child malnutrition in the world, and half the population is undernourished. This paper lays out a conceptual framework to guide the analysis of value chain-based interventions aimed at enhancing the intake of micronutrient-dense foods in South Asia under the LANSA research programme. More details

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Markets for Nutrient-rich Foods: Policy Synthesis from Three Country Studies

IDS Evidence Report 161 (2015)

This Evidence Report examines the potential for and limitations of promoting business and market-based approaches to reducing undernutrition through increasing the availability and accessibility of nutrient-rich foods for the undernourished. More details

This is the cover to the book 'Sustainable Livelihoods and Rural Development;.

Sustainable Livelihoods and Rural Development

The message of Sustainable Livelihoods and Rural Development is clear: livelihoods approaches are an essential lens on questions of rural development, but these need to be situated in a better understanding of political economy. More details

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Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs April 2014 – March 2015

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2015)

In much writing about development, policy and practice are portrayed as if they are joined at the hip. Policy shapes practice, while learning from practice informs policy processes. In this portrayal, practice is usually understood to refer to development practice, or how development programmes and projects are implemented. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture in 2050 under a Range of Plausible Socioeconomic and Emissions Scenarios

Environmental Research Letters 10.8: Article 085010 (2015)

Results from multiple climate and economic models are combined to examine the global and regional impacts of climate change on agricultural yields, area, production, consumption, prices and trade for coarse grains, rice, wheat, oilseeds and sugar crops to 2050. More details

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Working with Business Towards Systemic Change in Markets

IDS Policy Briefing 97 (2015)

Donors, governments, civil society and companies are making significant investments in creating or supporting new business models with the aim of contributing to international development goals. More details

IDS Evidence Report 141 Front cover

Food, Markets and Nutrition: Maximising the Impacts of Private Sector Engagement in Tanzania. Case Studies and Key Messages from the Workshop

IDS Evidence Report 141 (2015)

This report summarises the findings of a workshop for representatives of the Tanzanian government, development partners, civil society and private sector organisations, hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) on 30 March 2015. More details

This is the IFAD/IDS Case Study, 'Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains'. Summary of Ghana Case Study.

Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains. Summary of Ghana case study

IDS-IFAD Case Study (2015)

This is a summary of the Ghana Country Report, as part of an IFAD-funded programme on the role of PPPs in agriculture. It is one of the four IFAD project-supported Public-Private-Producer Partnerships analysed for the research. More details

This is the IFAD/IDS Case Study, 'Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains'. Summary of Rwanda Case Study.

Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains. Summary of Rwanda case study

IDS-IFAD Case Study (2015)

This is a summary of the Rwanda Country Report, based on research carried out in 2014 in association with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) as part of an IFAD-funded programme on the role of PPPs in agriculture. More details

This is the IFAD/IDS Case Study, 'Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains'. Summary of Indonesia Case Study.

Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains. Summary of Indonesia case study

IDS-IFAD Case Study (2015)

This is a summary of the Indonesia Country Report, based on research carried out in 2014 in association with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), as part of an IFAD-funded programme on the role of PPPs in agriculture. More details

This is the IFAD/IDS Report, 'Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains'.

Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains

IDS-IFAD Report (2015)

Markets are central to agriculture and rural development. Making markets, value chains and the systems that support them work better for the poor has therefore become a central aim of many donors, governments and nongovernmental organisations. More details