Welcome to PLAAS

PLAAS does research, policy engagement, teaching and training about the dynamics of chronic poverty and structural inequality in Southern Africa, with a particular emphasis on the key role of restructuring and contesting land holding and agro-food systems in the subcontinent and beyond. Our focus is on the analysis of marginalised livelihoods in Southern Africa, especially of subsistence and smallholder farmers and farm workers, of coastal and inland artisanal fisheries and fishing communities; and of informal self employment in rural and urban areas.

Research Areas


Our research covers diverse areas, ranging from land and tenure reform,  land investment and agro-food restructuring, fisheries and ecosystem management, to social protection and informal self employment. In all this work, our key focus is on the causes and dynamics of inequality and structural poverty, on the economic and social agency of poor...

Latest Publication

Corporate power in the agrofood system & SA’s consumer food environment

WP32 cover

This report maps the extent of corporate power in the South African agro-food system using a value chain approach. It identifies major corporate actors in the various nodes of the agro-food system...

Upcoming Events

The importance of fish as food

Presenters: Moenieba Isaacs (PLAAS), Philip Loring (University of Saskatchewan, Canada) & Joshua Stoll (University of Maine, USA; founder of LocalCatch.org) Concern about food security and...


Communal land policy in the spotlight in Hammanskraal

The violent eviction of residents of Hammanskraal on communal land at the request of the Kekana royal family signals the confusion of the powers and functions of traditional leaders, tribal...