Publications

The Future Agricultures Consortium produces research in a variety of formats.Several key research series are available for download, circulation and citation.

Use the search field below or review our thematically structured research archive.


Latest articles

Chinese and Brazilian agricultural models in Mozambique. The case of the Chinese Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre and of the Brazilian ProALIMENTOS programme
March 4, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 112
Sérgio Chichava and Natalia N. Fingermann
February 2015

China and Brazil have called increasing attention from the international community, especially in the field of development cooperation. In Africa, for instance, both countries have expanded their development activities and defined agriculture as one of the main sectors to boost mutual cooperation. Recognising that agriculture played a key role in both China’s and Brazil’s economic development, these countries, usually called ‘emerging donors’ or ‘new donors’, state that unlike ‘traditional donors’ they will be able to bring their respective agriculture-based developmental experiences to African countries.

Although both countries stress how their own local experience may inspire African agriculture, it is important to highlight that the modalities and models of technology transfer might differ from one country to another. In order to understand how Chinese and Brazilian models and modalities play out in the African context, this study has examined and compared the activities of a Chinese and a Brazilian project carried out in the district of Boane in Mozambique. Due to cultural and communication issues, as well as managerial practices, the Chinese agricultural model is facing more difficulties in Mozambique than the Brazilian one, although the Chinese have more financial capacity to implement their agriculture-based experience.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 112 Pdf 342.02 KB 0 downloads

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Mozambican elite in a Chinese rice ‘friendship’: an ethnographic study of the Xai-Xai irrigation scheme
February 6, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 111
Sérgio Chichava
February 2015

In April 2007, the Mozambican and the Chinese governments through the Provinces of Gaza and Hubei respectively set up an agreement for the establishment of a Chinese ‘friendship’ rice farm at the Lower Limpopo scheme (also known as Xai-Xai irrigation scheme). Among the main objectives of this partnership was agricultural technology transfer from Chinese to Mozambican farmers. In order to benefit from this technology transfer, the Mozambican government asked local farmers to organise themselves within an association, named ARPONE. The association intended to develop agriculture and livestock.

However, it appeared that the main people who created the association and started to work alongside the Chinese company were mostly Frelimo members, the party ruling the country since its independence in 1975. In the same way, some high-up employees of Regadio do Baixo Limpopo (RBL), the public company in charge of the irrigation scheme, joined ARPONE and started to produce rice. It is important to stress that high state officials are usually linked to Frelimo. The main purpose of this paper, which focuses on the example of ARPONE association farmers in Xai-Xai, is to show how the Mozambican political elite – usually linked to Frelimo – are using their positions within the party or the state to take advantage of the Chinese project.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 111 V2 Pdf 340.83 KB 0 downloads

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Priests, technicians and traders? The discursive politics of Brazil’s agricultural cooperation in Mozambique
February 5, 2015 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 110
Lídia Cabral
February 2015

Questions such as whose interests drive Brazil into Africa, what development models are carried along and what is in them for African countries have been guiding research and debates about Brazil’s cooperation in Africa. This paper contributes to this emerging body of work by looking at the specific case of agricultural cooperation. The analysis highlights the discursive side of Brazilian cooperation, where competing narratives about models and purposes reproduce different versions of reality for reasons related to the political character of cooperation. Discourse is hence an expression of the political. One account frames Brazil’s agricultural cooperation as a domain of priests, technicians and traders, driven, respectively, by doctrinal, technical fixing and business rationales. This provides an initial frame of reference to distil actors’ narratives about cooperation programmes.

The paper focuses specifically on two cooperation initiatives in Mozambique: ProSavana and More Food International. The key for understanding competing narratives on these two programmes and how they intermingle and change over time can be found in Brazil’s domestic sphere. The two programmes have been interpreted as an expression of contradictions in Brazil’s agriculture and particularly its dualistic character, typically framed as family farming versus agribusiness. Through the lenses of discourse analysis, this paper offers a critical reading of the interplay between priests, technicians and traders, or different thrusts in cooperation relations. The interplay suggests that the terms of Brazil’s agriculture dualism need recasting. While the paper prioritises the discussion of how Brazil’s internal agricultural politics pervade the realm of development cooperation abroad, forthcoming research will reflect more extensively on why this happens.

This paper is part of our project on China and Brazil in African Agriculture.

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FAC Working Paper 110 C Pdf 801.56 KB 0 downloads

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Chinese Training Courses for African Officials: a “Win-Win” Engagement?
December 18, 2014 / Policy Briefs

SAIS-CARI Policy Brief No. 3
by Henry Tugendhat

December, 2014

Some 30,000 African public officials have participated in Chinese training courses, yet little is known about their goals, structure, or content. Henry Tugendhat observed classroom trainings, interviewed trainees and reviewed publicly available course content. He argues that while China’s training courses do promote technology and knowledge transfers, they are also clearly organized to increase trade opportunities for Chinese firms, develop better political ties, and offer a positive image of China. This report, based on interviews and classroom observation, is the first study of its kind.

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Chinese Agricultural Investment in Mozambique: the Case of Wanbao Rice Farm
December 18, 2014 / Policy Briefs

SAIS-CARI Policy Brief No. 2
by Sérgio Chichava

November 2014

China’s largest agricultural investment in Africa is reported to be the Hubei Gaza Friendship Farm, established in 2007 in Mozambique and now managed by a private Chinese firm, Wanbao Africa Agriculture Development Limited (WAADL). While officials have welcomed external investment as a source of employment and development, local communities have decried the project as a “land grab”. Tensions among local activists, the government and the Chinese investors continue to run high, posing a challenge to the future of agricultural investment in the country.

Published by the SAIS China Africa Research Initiative

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International and regional guidelines on land governance and land-based investments: An agenda for African states
December 3, 2014 / Policy Briefs

Future Agricultures policy brief 77
Emmanuel Sulle and Ruth Hall

Global and regional guidelines have been developed in the period 2009–2014 to improve land governance in the context of large-scale land acquisitions in developing countries. These provide an opportunity for affected countries to make necessary reforms to mitigate negative impacts of such acquisitions. They also challenge governments, private companies and rural communities to know their rights and responsibilities and to act on them.

Many African countries are yet to fully implement land and other natural resources policy frameworks developed by the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). These require states to strengthen the rights of rural populations to access, control and own such resources and to decentralise land administration. To date, rural communities in many countries lack proper knowledge about their rights and responsibilities; the roles of public and private sector and civil society – in their national policies; and legal frameworks governing natural resources.

African governments have challenged themselves to develop proper plans, garner political support at all levels of government and implement the intended policy, legal and institutional reforms on the ground. The global and regional guidelines must still be translated into binding regulations and enforceable laws in each country. This is a precondition for the global and regional guidelines to improve land governance and regulate land-based investments, as intended by all member states that acceded to them.

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Policy Brief 077 Pdf 356.54 KB 0 downloads

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Emerging Seed Markets: The Role of Brazilian, Chinese and Indian Seeds in African Agriculture
November 7, 2014 / Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 79
Henry Tugendhat

In recent years, three of the largest emerging powers, Brazil, China and India, have all brought about incredible agricultural revolutions and seeds have played a big part in that story. Nowadays, their seed markets are all within the world’s top ten in terms of value and their companies are eager to expand into new markets, particularly in Africa. Their development cooperation agendas are already focused on facilitating these overseas moves, and they come with a strong narrative that these seed producers and technical experts can help bring about similar success for Africa. It remains to be seen how true this is; however, we can already identify and analyse certain trends in the technology and policy that each is transferring.

This policy brief examines the development and expansion of each country’s seed industry and how it is engaging with African seed systems. An understanding of these trends matters primarily for the African farmers and policymakers engaging with these new flows, but it can also shed light on contrasts and opportunities for collaboration on seeds with the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN).

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Policy Brief 079 Pdf 271.22 KB 0 downloads

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Revue de la recherche et de la politique en matière d’adaptation au changement climatique dans le secteur de l’agriculture en Afrique centrale
October 24, 2014 / Documents de travail / Working Papers in French

Document de travail 98
Jacob Mbua Ngeve, Abdulai Jalloh et Michel Ndjatsana
Juin 2014

Le présent rapport est le fruit d’une revue réalisée afin de synthétiser les travaux de recherche et les politiques en matière d’adaptation de l’agriculture au changement climatique en Afrique centrale. Dans cette région, le changement climatique pose des défis d’envergure au secteur de l’agriculture. L’Afrique est généralement considérée comme l’une des régions les plus vulnérables au changement climatique pour des causes diverses: sécheresses extrêmes, inondations, régimes fonciers inadéquats, dépendance excessive vis-à-vis de l’agriculture pluviale et pauvreté généralisée.

L’aide des gouvernements et des donateurs est nécessaire pour formuler les stratégies d’adaptation au changement climatique, car ce phénomène a créé un grand nombre de problèmes très visibles pour la production agricole dans la région d’Afrique centrale. La recherche doit être aidée afin de permettre le développement des technologies requises pour répondre au changement climatique. De plus, les actions des parties prenantes doivent être coordonnées et les responsables politiques doivent s’engager à améliorer les stratégies d’adaptation au changement climatique. Pour assurer la diffusion efficace des technologies, les services de vulgarisation doivent être renforcés et faire participer la société civile qui, même si elle est marginalisée dans certains pays, joue un rôle très actif en transférant les résultats aux utilisateurs. La présente analyse démontre que, malgré l’existence de politiques spécifiques, le financement de l’adaptation de l’agriculture au changement climatique occupe encore une position peu prioritaire dans l’agenda politique et économique des pays étudiés.

Ce document est aussi disponible en anglais: Review of Research and Policy for Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector in C Africa

Le présent rapport a été réalisé sous les auspices du projet AfricaInteract financé par le Centre de recherche pour le développement international (CRDI).

Revue de la Recherche et des Politiques Relatives à l’adaptation aux Changements Climatiques dans les Zones Urbaines en Afrique Centrale
October 24, 2014 / Documents de travail / Working Papers in French

Document de travail 97
Napi Wouapi, Abdulai Jalloh and Michel Ndjatsana
Juin 2014

L’objectif de ce rapport est de faire la synthèse de la recherche menée au sujet de l’adaptation aux changements climatiques dans les zones urbaines en Afrique centrale et d’améliorer la base de connaissances en la matière, tout en définissant des politiques sur ces questions. Les villes en Afrique centrale sont extrêmement vulnérables aux changements climatiques, qui constituent l’un des principaux défis urbains actuels en Afrique et dans le monde.

Les villes en Afrique centrale sont extrêmement vulnérables aux changements climatiques, qui constituent l’un des principaux défis urbains actuels en Afrique et dans le monde. Les populations pauvres des zones urbaines en subissent la plupart des effets, vu qu’ils vivent et travaillent essentiellement dans des environnements de fortune particulièrement exposés. Cette situation est exacerbée par une combinaison d’exposition aux aléas climatiques ainsi qu’aux événements extrêmes associés à une faculté d’adaptation faible ou limitée.

Ce document est aussi disponible en anglais: Review of Research and Policy for Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas in Central Africa

Le présent rapport a été réalisé sous les auspices du projet AfricaInteract financé par le Centre de recherche pour le développement international (CRDI).

Revue de la recherche et des politiques relatives à l’adaptation aux changements climatiques dans le secteur de la santé en Afrique central
October 24, 2014 / Documents de travail / Working Papers in French

Document de travail 96
Nafomon Sogoba, Abdulai Jalloh et Michel Ndjatsana
Juin 2014

La recherche sur l’adaptation au changement climatique en Afrique et le soutien à ce processus bénéficient d’une attention croissante. Il est donc essentiel que les conclusions des études pertinentes menées dans ce domaine soient utilisées et intégrées pour documenter l’élaboration de politiques d’adaptation. Le présent rapport entend développer la base de connaissances et soutenir la formulation, documentée par la recherche, de politiques d’adaptation au changement climatique dans le secteur de la santé en Afrique centrale.

Ce document est aussi disponible en anglais: Review of Research and Policy for Climate Change Adaptation in the Health Sector in Central Africa

Le présent rapport a été réalisé sous les auspices du projet AfricaInteract financé par le Centre de recherche pour le développement international (CRDI).