How to move from ordinary to best agricultural practices

‘Best practice’ is not even a mouthful but what it means in practice remains unclear to many people who use the phrase. In African agriculture, it takes a lot for a farmer or trader to become a best practitioner.  Most value chain actors face challenges in identifying sufficient quality evidence that can be translated into Read more about How to move from ordinary to best agricultural practices[…]

A ready market is more important than food hand outs and free inputs

A ready market is more important than food hand outs and free inputs Food hand-outs and free inputs have been over-used to address poverty and food insecurity in most developing countries, yet providing a ready market for existing commodities could be a better solution. In communities where local food like indigenous chickens, goats, sheep, small Read more about A ready market is more important than food hand outs and free inputs[…]

Time to use mass food markets and seed fairs in decolonizing gene banks

Time to use mass food markets and seed fairs in decolonizing gene banks A very important step in decolonizing African food systems is re-defining and contextualizing the meaning of a gene bank. The conventional scientific notion of a gene bank[1] as a type of bio-repository that preserves genetic material ignores the socio-cultural dimension of genetic material. For instance, scientific Read more about Time to use mass food markets and seed fairs in decolonizing gene banks[…]

Opportunities for using public procurement to advance healthy food choices in Africa

Opportunities for using public procurement to advance healthy food choices in Africa Decolonizing public procurement by governments and development organizations will improve consumer access to diverse and healthy diets while also increasing incomes of smallholder farmers. In countries like Zimbabwe, government institutions like colleges, schools and hospitals cannot buy food directly from farmers. These formal Read more about Opportunities for using public procurement to advance healthy food choices in Africa[…]

Aggregation as the only avenue for returning African farmers to profitability

Aggregation as the only avenue for returning African farmers to profitability African countries have no shortage of documents on how aggregating agricultural commodities can change lives of farmers and low-income consumers. Some agricultural consultants and development agencies have made a living from advising government departments and farming communities on how to design value chain strategies. Read more about Aggregation as the only avenue for returning African farmers to profitability[…]

How fragmented agricultural projects are undermining African food systems

How fragmented agricultural projects are undermining African food systems If there was more harmony and consolidation between agricultural interventions in Africa, most African countries would have defeated food and nutrition insecurity many years ago. Unfortunately, it seems there are people who benefit more from projectizing agricultural interventions than properly organizing and coordinating food systems. Fragmentation Read more about How fragmented agricultural projects are undermining African food systems[…]

African mass food markets – honing expertise in decolonizing entrepreneurship

In response to persistent criticism for producing job seekers not entrepreneurs, several African governments have been setting up centers of innovation and entrepreneurship at universities. While this is a noble cause, it has given the impression that entrepreneurship is something that can be taught in universities. On the contrary, the level of entrepreneurship happening in Read more about African mass food markets – honing expertise in decolonizing entrepreneurship[…]

Promising avenues for funding African mass food markets

There are several reasons why most of the funding intended for agriculture and food systems has missed targets in African countries.  The funding has been limited to production, ignoring mass food markets which handle and distribute more than 100 food commodities from production areas to scattered food markets and consumers. Women and youth comprise more Read more about Promising avenues for funding African mass food markets[…]

What if removing middlemen can kill over 60 percent of food markets?

What if removing middlemen can kill over 60 percent of food markets? Middlemen are often blamed for reaping off farmers and consumers. However, most of the criticism is based on poor understanding of how markets function and the gaps closed by middlemen. All markets have unique ways of assigning roles to different actors. If middlemen Read more about What if removing middlemen can kill over 60 percent of food markets?[…]

Impact of commodity shrinkage and other market dynamics on African farmers

Impact of commodity shrinkage and other market dynamics on African farmers Shrinking refers to cases where commodities become dry, thin and weak or dead due to loss of water. However, African food systems face diverse kinds of shrinkage due to several factors. In fact, shrinkage accounts for more food losses than the conventional notion of post-harvest Read more about Impact of commodity shrinkage and other market dynamics on African farmers[…]

Long-term planning informed by entrepreneurship can get rid of land barons

Long-term planning informed by entrepreneurship can get rid of land barons The rise of land barons has become an enduring trend and topic in many agriculture-driven African economies over the past few years. In fact, this trend has grown to the extent that in Zimbabwe there are more than five types of land barons.  Increase Read more about Long-term planning informed by entrepreneurship can get rid of land barons[…]