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

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Photo of Ian Scoones, Research Fellow More details

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

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IDS staff or research student More details

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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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IDS publications on international development research

The Future of Food Demand: Understanding Differences in Global Economic Models

Agricultural Economics 45.1 (2013)

This article reviews demand modeling approaches from 10 global economic models participating in the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP). More details

IDS publications on international development research

Under What Circumstances and Conditions Does Adoption of Technology Result in Increased Agricultural Productivity? A Systematic Review

New technology that enables sustainable and profitable production of food and fibre is critical for both food security and economic development. Whether framed in terms of modernisation, productivity enhancement, poverty reduction, social protection, environmental protection or adaptation to climate change, technical change is at the heart of most agricultural policy, programmes and projects. From More details

IDS publications on international development research

Rural Livelihood Diversification and Adaptation to Climate Change

in 'Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change: Emerging Lessons (2013)

As the world faces the reality of climate change, the urgent needs of communities vulnerable to the changing climate must be addressed. More details

IDS publications on international development research

A State of the Art Review of Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages

Agridiet position paper (2013)

This paper explores the latest evidence on the relationships between agriculture and nutrition in food-insecure regions. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Politics of Reducing Malnutrition: Building Commitment and Accelerating Progress

The Lancet 382.9891 (2013)

In the past 5 years, political discourse about the challenge of undernutrition has increased substantially at national and international levels and has led to stated commitments from many national governments, international organisations, and donors. More details

This is the cover to IDS Bulletin 44.4, 'China and Brazil in African Agriculture'

China and Brazil in African Agriculture

IDS Bulletin 44.4 (2013)

This IDS Bulletin examines Brazilian and Chinese agricultural development cooperation in Africa. More details

Logo of the Future Agricultures Consortium

Food Price Volatility and Financial Speculation

Understanding better the relationship between financial markets and food price volatility is the motivation for this paper. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Evidence-based Agricultural Policy in Africa: Critical Reflection on an Emergent Discourse

Outlook on Agriculture 41.4 (2013)

This paper looks at the challenges of using agricultural statistics as an evidence base for agricultural policy making in Africa. More details

Non-IDS publication

Vulnerability and Adaptation of African rural populations to Climate Change: the Case of Fishers’ Communities in the Central Delta of Niger

Climate Change 3-4.115 (2012)

In this paper we examine ways Sahelian floodplain fishers have adapted to the strong environmental variations that have affected the region in the last two decades. We analyse their vulnerability and adaptive capacity in the face of expected changes in rainfall combined with the predicted effects of dam construction. More details

This is the image for IDS Bulletin 43.6, 'Young People and Agriculture in Africa'.

Young People and Agriculture in Africa

IDS Bulletin 43.6 (2012)

The articles in this IDS Bulletin are drawn from the conference on 'Young People, Farming and Food' in Accra, Ghana. This conference examined how young people engage with the agri-food sector in Africa and how research findings were being integrated into policy processes. More details

Non-IDS publication

Climate Change Communication and Social Learning - Review and Strategy Development for CCAFS

This working paper offers an overview of current theory and practice on climate change communication and social learning in the global South with a view of informing CCAFS strategy in this area. More details

AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 2000 news and information items daily from over 130 African news organizations and reporters to an African and global public.

Africa: The Women Who Grow Africa's Food Need a Voice

AllAfrica report from the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF). More details

IDS publications on international development research

Small Farm Commercialisation in Africa: Reviewing the Issues

Small farmers in Africa have long been engaged with markets. Whenever villages have been connected to urban or overseas markets, smallholders have produced surpluses for them at times prompting remarkable transformations in rural economies. More details

Non-IDS publication

Climate Change and Agricultural Policy Processes in Malawi

This paper explores climate change - agriculture debates in Malawi in view of the increasing interest and funding pledges for the agricultural sector in a changing climate. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Innovation in Livestock Value Chains: Lessons from Fodder Adoption Case Studies in Developing Countries

Science and Public Policy 39.3 (2012)

This paper discusses how fodder technologies and knowledge have been introduced and integrated in diverse livestock production systems in Ethiopia, Syria and Vietnam. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Contested Agronomy: Agricultural Research in a Changing World

Over the last 40 years, suggest the editors of Contested Agronomy, agricultural research in the developing world has been profoundly influenced by three powerful trends. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Seasonality, Rural Livelihoods and Development

Seasonality is a severe constraint to sustainable rural livelihoods, and a driver of poverty and hunger, particularly in the tropics. Many poor people in developing countries are ill equipped to cope with seasonal variations which can lead to drought or flood and consequences for agriculture, employment, food supply and the spread of disease. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Future Farmers: Youth Aspirations, Expectations and Life Choices

Young people constitute a high and increasing proportion of the African population, with around 70 percent of the continent’s total population currently under the age of 30. More details