Tag: agriculture

What can Positive Deviance reveal about gender and social change?

Today is the UN International Day for Rural Women, so here are Patti Petesch (left), Shelley Feldman (near right) and Lone Badstue (far right) to introduce some really interesting new research on what works. What can a Positive Deviance approach add to our understanding of gender equality in rural villages? To find out we analysed a sample of 79 […]

Read More »

What have 3 years of campaigning on Big Food achieved? What still needs to happen?

Erinch Sahan, acting head of Oxfam’s private sector team, looks back on 3 years of trying to get the world’s food giants to clean up their act, the subject of a new Behind the Brands report. The captains of the food industry have come a long way over the last few years. The “Big 10”, the […]

Read More »

New research: A wage revolution could end extreme poverty in Asia, with massive knock-on effects in Africa

Spoke last week as a ‘discussant’ (my favourite speaking role, no prep required) at the launch of an extraordinary new ODI paper, with the deeply forgettable title ‘rural wages in Asia’ (we’ll come back to the title later). In one of those papers that restores your faith in economists, Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats crunch […]

Read More »

Not so mega? The risky business of large-scale public-private partnerships in African agriculture

Oxfam policy adviser Robin Willoughby shrugs off the big ag groupthink and argues that the current trend of mega projects in African agriculture is a risky and unproven way to help poor farmers. Last week, I attended a large summit on the future of African agriculture in Addis Ababa, hosted by A Green Revolution for […]

Read More »

Who Wants to Farm? Hardly any young people, it seems. Should/Could that change?

Since I started globetrotting many decades years ago, I’ve always asked peasants and farm labourers a simple question – ‘would you like your kids to become farmers?’ Across continents, the answer has hardly ever been ‘yes’. That creates a bit of a problem for the ‘peasant romantic’ wing of the aid business, who are then […]

Read More »

How can Governments and Donors support Africa’s Women Farmers?

I got into a bit of hot water recently for a recent post taking down a dodgy stat on women’s land ownership, so it’s nice to be able to post on some really good numbers on gender and agriculture. Levelling the Field: Improving Opportunities for Women Farmers in Africa, is an important and innovative new report (exec […]

Read More »

The End of Cheap Rice: Good News or Catastrophe?

Are high food prices here to stay, and if so are they a Good Thing (producers benefit) or a Bad Thing (consumers go hungry)? These are the questions explored by a thought-provoking and very even-handed new paper (only 5 pages) from the ODI on the ‘end of cheap rice’. From the Summary: “After more than […]

Read More »

The future of Agriculture: useful teaching resource/briefing on current debates

If you’re looking for a teaching resource on current debates on agriculture and development, take a look at ‘The Future of Agriculture’, a rather goodsynthesis of a two week online debate hosted by Oxfam last December. The paper, written by Maya Manzi and Gine Zwart, has a 10 page summary of the 23 posts and […]

Read More »

What is the impact of women’s collective action? Evidence from 3 African countries

Sally Baden (left, in the white shirt), Oxfam’s former Senior Adviser on Agriculture and Women’s Livelihoods, summarizes the findings of a new Oxfam report and research project on women’s collective action in agriculture. As an Oxfam policy adviser in West Africa (2001-8), I worked with many different kinds of farmer organization. These included cotton farmers, […]

Read More »

What can DFID learn from Chinese and Brazilian aid programmes?

IDS researcher Henry Tugendhat (right) wonders whether UK aid is following in the path of China and Brazil Two weeks ago at the London Stock Exchange, Justine Greening announced her new policy of supporting UK businesses to invest in developing economies for the mutual benefit of both sides. According to the UK’s Secretary of State […]

Read More »

Strikes, Spookytown, and a traumatic exit from feudalism: Women on Farms in South Africa

Managed to squeeze at least one day away from offices and lecture theatres in South Africa last week. In this case a road trip with Women on Farms, an Oxfam partner led by the charismatic Colette Solomon (right), IDS PhD turned grassroots activist. In the Western Cape, scenic is an understatement: lush vineyards festooned with […]

Read More »

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

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. […]

Read More »