The high costs of ignoring local knowledge

The high costs of ignoring local knowledge The developed world looks at Africa only as a source of natural resources like land, water, raw materials and labour not a source of knowledge. In the same vein, African governments see rural communities as sources of raw materials and cheap labour, not sources of knowledge. By ignoring Read more about The high costs of ignoring local knowledge[…]

African countries should start investing in their substitute commodities

African countries should start investing in their substitute commodities While the profile of indigenous food has been rising over the past few years across Africa, policy makers are yet to direct policies and public spending to the majority of indigenous commodities. A lot of support continues to be directed at exotic commodities that are being Read more about African countries should start investing in their substitute commodities[…]

Free flowing information will ensure policies are backed by fresh evidence

Free flowing information will ensure policies are backed by fresh evidence What has constrained the capacity of African countries to translate politics into economic development is paying lip service to the true value of information. For instance, the majority of African countries have not put in place systems for collecting data and information in ways Read more about Free flowing information will ensure policies are backed by fresh evidence[…]

Agricultural economies should develop farmer-responsive pricing models

Agricultural economies should develop farmer-responsive pricing models The past few years have seen climate change-induced droughts constraining the capacity of African countries such as Zimbabwe to predict future harvests. Consequently, when a bumper harvest happens governments are compelled to lead agricultural value chain actors in building buffer food stocks against future shocks. Developing responsive pricing Read more about Agricultural economies should develop farmer-responsive pricing models[…]

Market literacy is more important than financial literacy

Market literacy is more important than financial literacy Financial literacy has gained prominence as a necessary intervention in most developing countries. However, what has become clear in most agro-based African countries is that market literacy is more important than financial literacy because the market provides the broader context in which financial literacy can be understood. Read more about Market literacy is more important than financial literacy[…]

Potential for youth employment through making livestock feed from urban agriculture

Potential for youth employment through making livestock feed from urban agriculture While the majority of youths in African countries are still interested in white collar jobs, a monthly salary or wage, agriculture offers new platforms for young people to participate in creating their own employment. These opportunities extend from communal to urban farming. The growth Read more about Potential for youth employment through making livestock feed from urban agriculture[…]

Using agriculture and natural resources to decolonize parliamentary debates

Using agriculture and natural resources to decolonize parliamentary debates Except in Burkina Faso and Uganda, parliamentary debates in the majority of agro-based African economies are completely disconnected from issues that affect ordinary people daily. Ideally, Members of Parliament (MPs) from production zones should be conversant with issues in their constituencies to be able to articulate Read more about Using agriculture and natural resources to decolonize parliamentary debates[…]

Why each agricultural food commodity needs a solid profile in the market

Why each agricultural food commodity needs a solid profile in the market The COVID19 pandemic has provided sufficient reasons why agro-based countries should not wait until there is a crisis to invest in data collection, analyses and sharing. Given the extent to which agriculture is a baseline for most African economies, the value of agricultural Read more about Why each agricultural food commodity needs a solid profile in the market[…]

Reimagining a new socio-economic fabric for African informal economies

Social safety nets will not be able to cover ordinary people’s coping mechanisms. Where economies were functioning normally, many farmers, traders and other entrepreneurs were busy servicing loans taken from banks and Micro Finance Institutions. What is going to happen? Importance of careful business profiling The biggest challenge for policy makers is navigating difficult trade-offs Read more about Reimagining a new socio-economic fabric for African informal economies[…]

The power of clear role definition in African food systems

COVID-19 has revealed the importance of understanding roles of different actors in Africa’s food systems. When roles and responsibilities are unclear, smallholder farmers are exposed to conmen.  For instance, in Zimbabwe farmers are losing produce to unregistered buyers. The situation would be better if all buyers were registered and the trading of all agricultural commodities Read more about The power of clear role definition in African food systems[…]