What’s the link between land grabs, trade rules and climate change? Good new briefing from Sophia Murphy

admin - March 12, 2013

You can rely on Sophia Murphy for crisp, credible analyses of agricultural trade and food issues. Her latest paper, Land Grabs and Fragile Food Systems, is up to her usual standard. She locates the current row over land grabs in some broader debates that have rather fallen off the agenda, namely globalization and trade rules. Made me come over all nostalgic for the WTO-bashing of …

Continue reading

Does agriculture have a future? Sonali Bisht wraps up Oxfam’s online debate

admin - December 21, 2012

For the past two weeks, Oxfam has been hosting an online forum on the future of agriculture with a great range of viewpoints from every corner of the globe. Today is the last blogging day before the Christmas break (see you in 2013, everyone), so I’m handing over to Sonali Bisht, founder of INHERE, India, to wrap up a pretty diverse set of discussions. The …

Continue reading

Calling all Euro/Aid sceptics – here’s some top quality aid from the EU

admin - December 19, 2012

Oxfam programme researcher John Magrath (he’s the one on the left in the pic) has been looking at some European aid, and is impressed with what he found European Aid gets a lousy press. If you’re a reader of the UK’s Daily Mail (and nearly 2 million Brits are) then you’ll be used to headlines such as “Dance lessons in Africa, jets for tyrants, derelict …

Continue reading

Are global value chains really the right answer for small farmers? Great new study from IIED and HIVOS

admin - December 18, 2012

If you’re interested in livelihoods, value chains, or agriculture, you absolutely have to read a great new paper from IIED and HIVOS.Small producer agency in the globalised market, by Bill Vorley, Ethel del Pozo-Bergnes and Anna Barnett, does for our thinking on livelihoods what the Africa Power and Politics Programme does for governance, or Portfolios of the Poor for financial systems – challenges most of …

Continue reading

How we saved agriculture, fed the world and ended rural poverty: looking back from 2050

admin - December 11, 2012

As Oxfam’s two week online debate on the future of agriculture gets under way, John Ambler of Oxfam America imagines how it could all turn out right in the end It is now 2050.  Globally, we are 9 billion strong.  Only 20% of us are directly involved in agriculture, and poor country economies have diversified.  Yet we all have enough food.  Technological innovation has played …

Continue reading

Why the World Bank is wrong (so far) on large land deals

admin - October 26, 2012

You’re getting a lot of guest posts this week, not least because I’m in India – expect a spate of India posts next week. Here’s Hannah Stoddart, Oxfam’s Head of Economic Justice Policy, responding to the World Bank’s response to Oxfam’s call for a freeze on large land deals. Oxfam’s land grabs campaign, launched on 4th October, highlights the alarming increase in the speed and …

Continue reading

Why don't Africa's politicians invest more in small farmers? The political economy of ag policy.

admin - September 20, 2012

Interesting if rather impenetrable new(ish) paper from the Future Agricultures consortium on the political economy of Africanagricultural policy. It seeks to answer an important question – why hasn’t the spread of democracy produced more investment in the smallholder farmers that form the majority of the electorate in many countries? Here’s the summary: “Theories of policy neglect of, or discrimination against, agriculture in Africa include urban bias …

Continue reading

Paradigms, lock-ins and liberations: Robert Chambers on rice and shit

admin - September 12, 2012

 Following my review of his new book, and Robert’s thoughts on immersion programmes (which generated some great comments), here is a third and final piece from Provocations for Development A lock-in is a paradigmatic syndrome in which there is strong mutually-supporting inflexibility. Let us examine two examples of paradigmatic lock-ins which have been comprehensively turned on their heads to create new counter-intuitive, counter-commonsense, syndromes of …

Continue reading

Cereal Secrets: Lifting the lid on the World's big 4 grain traders

admin - August 14, 2012

Campaigners and journalists love a brand – targeting Nike, Walmart, (maybe even Oxfam) virtually guarantees you a bigger audience. Unfortunately, that means brand-less companies can get away with murder (hopefully just a figure of speech). Cereal Secrets, a new research report for Oxfam by Sophia Murphy, David Burch and Jennifer Clapp, lifts the lid on some of the biggest and most influential firms you’ve never …

Continue reading

Obama v Kofi Annan: Who has the best model for agriculture in Mozambique?

admin - July 31, 2012

This guest post from Joseph Hanlon (right) was also published today on the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog Mozambique is a development paradox. Rural poverty is increasing despite high growth rates and billions of dollars in aid. Now the country has been targeted by two contrasting models of agricultural development. The Obama model was backed by the G8 in Washington in May, while the Annan model was …

Continue reading
Translate »