Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA)

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year research programme, which builds on more than a decade of research and policy engagement work by the Future Agricultures Consortium. The aim of the project is to produce new information and insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in order to assess their impacts and outcomes on rural poverty, empowerment of women and girls, and food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The programme will focus on four main objectives:

  1. Generating high-quality evidence on pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Africa, using a rigorous mix of quantitative and qualitative methods;
  2. Undertaking policy research on agricultural commercialisation to fill key evidence gaps and define policy options;
  3. Ensuring the sharing and uptake of research by a diverse range of stakeholders;
  4. Strengthening the capacity of the research team, and associated partner institutions, to deliver policy-relevant research and advice.

Operating across three complimentary work streams, the APRA programme will work in six focal countries, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, with two additional countries, Kenya and Mozambique.

The consortium includes regional hubs at the Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE), Kenya, the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), South Africa, and the University of Ghana, Legon, as well as partners at Lund University, Sweden, and Michigan State University and Tufts University, USA.


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John Thompson

Research Fellow

Recent work


In memory of Professor Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa

Professor Ephraim Chirwa, the Director of Research-Africa of the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme and a founding member of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC), passed away after a sudden illness on the morning of 15 July 2019. An economist by training (with...

18 July 2019

Impact Story

Generating new insights on agriculture as a pathway from poverty in Africa

With more than half of Africa’s workers employed in agriculture, the sector offers a valuable pathway out of poverty for the continent.  Agriculture has long been central to IDS’ work, particularly on reducing inequalities, through evidence-based research, policy dialogue, networking and...

4 July 2019

Journal Article

Irrigating Zimbabwe After Land Reform: The Potential of Farmer-Led Systems

Water Alternatives;12(1): 88-106

Farmer-led irrigation is far more extensive in Zimbabwe than realised by planners and policymakers. This paper explores the pattern of farmer-led irrigation in neighbouring post-land reform smallholder resettlement sites in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo district. Across 49 farmer-led cases, 41.3...

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Ian Scoones & 2 others

11 February 2019