Agricultural Policy Research in Africa launched in Ethiopia

Lion of Judah Addis Ababa EthiopiaThe Lion of Judah in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Image source: Rjruizii/Commons)APRA is a five-year research programme aiming to analyse pathways to agricultural commercialisation and their differential impacts on empowerment of women and girls, poverty reduction, and food and nutrition security and in Sub-Saharan Africa 

The Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme was officially launched at the ongoing land policy conference in Addis Ababa.

APRA is a five-year research programme aiming to analyse pathways to agricultural commercialisation and their differential impacts on empowerment of women and girls, poverty reduction, and food and nutrition security and in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is run by the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) and funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID).

With a directorate at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the United Kingdom, APRA currently works in Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique.

Janet Edeme, Head of Rural Economy Division, Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union Commission and Chair of the APRA International Advisory Group, highlighted the AU’s agenda for agricultural transformation at the launch.

A key objective of the AU is to reverse food insecurity and increase agricultural productivity, based on the demand for a modernised agriculture system in Africa.

In line with the AU’s values, APRA’s work will provide much-needed research in identifying pro-poor, gender equitable routes to commercialisation.

The research will address key ‘evidence gaps’ by undertaking in-depth studies on the impact of ongoing and emerging processes of commercialisation in African agriculture.

Looking at a mix of large, medium, small-scaled estates and outgrowers or contract models, APRA is investigating five crucial outcome areas: agricultural commercialisations; empowerment of women and girls; employment rates and conditions; food and nutrition security; assets, poverty, income and patterns of inequality.

APRA’s research will spread across three work streams, compromising of panel studies-examining people’s choices and outcomes and longitudinal studies –analysing pathways to agriculture commercialisation over long periods of time and in different settings.

Panel studies will include business investment in agricultural commercialisation; growth corridors and commercialisation; rise of medium-scale farmers; BRICS interventions and mechanisation; livestock commercialisation in pastoralist areas; and young people and agricultural commercialisation.

The APRA programme aims to produce high-quality evidence to inform national and regional policies and investments in commercial agriculture as well as provide a much better understanding of the political economy behind decision-making on agricultural commercialisation in Africa. 

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