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.

The rising powers are growing sources of development finance and offer developing countries a combination of private investment, lending, trade and cooperation arrangements that is gradually challenging the rules of the game of the global aid architecture. Africa is a major destination of the rising powers' diplomatic and economic ventures, and agriculture a leading topic for development cooperation activities across the continent.

Through our research, we investigated the impacts of these changes on African agriculture.

Some of the questions for our research were:

  • What investments are China and Brazil making in agricultural production systems in Africa? What is their scale, nature (public and private) and focus?
  • What visions and models of development underpin Brazil and China cooperation programmes in agriculture?
  • How do China and Brazil's visions and models compare with one another and with traditional donors' approaches to development?
  • Is there evidence of emerging new paradigms for development cooperation and for agricultural development?
  • What are the implications for traditional donors and for pro-poor development in Africa?

For findings and publications view the project website

Key contact

Photo of Oliver Burch

T: +44 (0)1273 915670


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Photo of Ian Scoones, Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915679


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Photo of Jing Gu

T: +44 (0)1273 915692


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Project Dates:
May 2015 - December 2015
Project Status:
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Research Themes / Programmes:
BRICS and Rising Powers