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.

< previous 1 2 next >
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

Photo of Oliver Burch More details

Photo of Rachel Sabates Wheeler More details

Photo of Richard Longhurst, a Research Associate More details

< previous 1 2 next >
< previous 1 2 next >

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

< previous 1 2 next >

View all Research Theme's publications

Use this search to display this theme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


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

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

IDS-IFAD Case Study (2015)

This is a summary of the Uganda 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

IDS publications on international development research

Impact Investments: A Literature Review

Centre for Development Impact (2015)

In terms of structure, this summary paper will first discuss findings from a review of documents presenting various methods of evaluating, assessing and/or measuring impact investments. Then, this paper covers literature on the evaluation of impact investments, including social and development impact bonds (SIBs/DIBs); and finally, this paper briefly reviews other modalities of socially-oriented investments. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Young People, Agriculture and Employment in Rural Africa

The much heralded growth and transformation of many economies in sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade continues to receive prominent attention in academic scholarship and among policy practitioners. An apparent feature about this transformation, however, is that Africa’s youth appear to have been left out. More details

Non-IDS publication

Markets for Nutrition

LANSA Policy Brief 2 (2015)

Making safe, nutrient-rich foods more accessible for people on low-incomes is one way to reduce micronutrient undernutrition. Efforts to integrate better agriculture and nutrition are focused on this goal, and many initiatives target low-income farm households. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Perspectives on Jobs and Farming: Findings from a Q Study with Young People, Parents and Development Workers in Rural Ghana

Future Agricultures 109 (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. More details

IDS publications on international development research

On-farm impact of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI): Evidence and knowledge gaps.

Agricultural Systems 132 (2015)

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is being promoted worldwide, but relatively little is yet known about its impacts at farm level. This article reviews available evidence on the impact of SRI practices in terms of yield and productivity. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 451.

Livestock and Livelihoods in Africa: Maximising Animal Welfare and Human Wellbeing

IDS Working Paper 451 (2014)

Livestock perform several vital roles in rural livelihoods in Africa, providing food (meat, milk, eggs), draught power and transport, as well as income from sales of animals and animal products. However, the implications for animal welfare are not always considered. Theory suggests that animal welfare follows an ‘n-curve’ in relation to productivity. It tends to be low in smallholder farming a More details

IDS publications on international development research

Scenarios for Global Agriculture and Food Security Towards 2050: A Review of Recent Studies

This book explores how food production and consumption is embedded in powerful political and market forces and how these influence local actions. More details

This is the cover to IDS Policy Briefing 78, 'Agricultural Impact Evaluation is Failing to Measure Up'.

Agricultural Impact Evaluation is Failing to Measure Up

IDS Policy Briefing 78 (2014)

New technology that enables sustainable and profitable production of food is critical for both food and nutrition security and economic development. Yet, recent research suggests assessments of the productivity gains farmers realise from new technology are routinely flawed methodologically and hence unreliable as a basis for decision making. More details

Article entitled The Triviality of Measuring Ultimate Outcomes.

The Triviality of Measuring Ultimate Outcomes: Acknowledging the Span of Direct Influence

IDS Bulletin 45.6 (2014)

Sustainability standards and certification schemes have been promoted as a market driven instrument for realising development impacts and receive public funding. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Agricultural Development and Food Security in Africa: The Impact of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian Investments

Journal of Agrarian Change 14.4 (2014)

The frenzy mirrors the growing stature of the likes of China, India or Brazil in the world economy and their mounting influence in global governance. More details

Strengthening_Evidence_Based_Policy_2014

Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs November 2012 – March 2014

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2014)

Knowledge and evidence are important elements of all policy processes. While the availability of more or higher quality evidence does not guarantee better policy processes, it is difficult to imagine how development policy and outcomes can be improved without it. More details

ER76 Front Cover

Mapping Value Chains for Nutrient-Dense Foods in Tanzania

IDS Evidence Report 76 (2014)

This report details the findings of an analysis of value chains for several nutrient-dense foods in Tanzania. It rapidly assesses the potential of ten commodities to contribute to reducing undernutrition and identifies three with particularly high potential. More details

This is the cover for IDS Working Paper 439, 'Who Wants to Farm? Youth Aspirations, Opportunities and Rising Food Prices'.

Who Wants to Farm? Youth Aspirations, Opportunities and Rising Food Prices

IDS Working Paper 439 (2014)

Who wants to farm? In an era of land grabs and environmental uncertainty, improving smallholder productivity has become a higher priority on the poverty and food security agenda in development, focusing attention on the next generation of farmers. More details

Policy briefing 52 teaser image

Is Nutrition Losing Out in African Agricultural Policies? Evidence from Nigeria

Agricultural policies in many African countries focus on industrialising food value chains and substituting domestic products for imported ones. Yet experience in Nigeria shows that, by focusing on staple crops and neglecting vegetables, pulses and animal proteins, these policies are missing opportunities to address micronutrient undernutrition. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Assessing Uncertainty Along the Climate-Crop-Economy Modeling Chain

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 119.9: 3274-90 (2014)

Agricultural production is sensitive to weather and thus directly affected by climate change. This paper is part of a collective effort to systematically integrate climate, crop and economic models to obtain plausible estimates of these climate change impacts More details

IDS publications on international development research

Agriculture and Climate Change in Global Scenarios: Why Don't the Models Agree?

Agricultural Economics 45.1 (2014)

This article presents climate change results and underlying determinants from a model comparison exercise with 10 of the leading global economic models that include significant representation of agriculture. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Comparing Supply-Side Specifications in Models of Global Agriculture and the Food System

Agricultural Economics 45.1 (2014)

This article compares the theoretical and functional specification of production in partial equilibrium (PE) and computable general equilibrium (CGE) models of the global agricultural and food system included in the AgMIP model comparison study. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Why Do Global Long-term Scenarios for Agriculture Differ? An Overview of the AgMIP Global Economic Model Intercomparison.

Agricultural Economics 45.1 (2014)

Artilce illustrating the results of a study where 10 global economic models that produce long-term scenarios compare a reference scenario with alternate socioeconomic, climate change, and bioenergy scenarios using a common set of key drivers. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Impacts of Increased Bioenergy Demand on Global Food Markets

Agricultural Economics 45.1 (2014)

This article shows to what extent a strong increase in ligno-cellulosic bioenergy deployment may affect agricultural markets and land-use change. More details