Continental agriculture research programme unveiled

Farmers sowing seeds using a tractor. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

The Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme has been launched.

The five-year research programme was launched in Addis Ababa during the Africa Land Policy Conference held on November 14 – 17.

APRA's aim is to analyse prospects for 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 programme will be led by the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) and funded by the UK Department of International Development (Dfid).

With the Directorate at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK, APRA works in Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique.

Food and nutrition

The chair of the APRA International Advisory Group, Ms Janet Edeme, opened the APRA launch, highlighting the African Union’s agenda for agricultural transformation.

In line with the AU’s values, APRA will provide research in identifying pro-poor, gender equitable routes to commercialisation. The research will undertake in-depth studies on the impact of ongoing and emerging of commercialisation in African agriculture.

APRA is investigating five crucial outcome areas of 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 panel studies-examining people’s choices and outcomes and longitudinal studies –analysing pathways to agriculture commercialisation over long periods and in different settings.

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