Another Countryside

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Food in the time of the Coronavirus: Why we should be very, very afraid

By Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies The social legitimacy of the ‘COVID-19 lockdown’, government’s regulations imposed to contain the spread of the virus, is most likely to run aground unless an urgent plan can be made to ensure that everyone in the country has access to sufficient food. And it’s not looking good. Based on interviews, statements by…
Esté Beerwinkel
April 1, 2020
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Phillan Zamchiya: Land deals in Africa: Many suffer challenges

By Phillan Zamchiya From 2016 to 2019, the Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) embarked on a project aimed at securing land and water rights for vulnerable men and women in line with global and regional policy frameworks. The project titled ‘Land and Water Rights in Southern Africa: Entrenching Global and Regional Policy’ was funded by the Austrian…
Esté Beerwinkel
March 26, 2020
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Katlego Ramantsima: Land tenure school for activists a success

By Katlego Ramantsima From 16 to 24 February, the Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) joined Tshisimani Centre for Activists, Ntinga Ntaba kaNdoda (Ntinga), Border Rural Committee (BRC), Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC) and the Trust for Community Outreach Education (TCOE) in co-organising a land tenure school to support marginalised rural communities and land activists in the…
Esté Beerwinkel
March 19, 2020
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Wytske Chamberlain and Karin Kleinbooi: Southern African governments fail smallholder farmers in their commitments made in the Malabo Declaration

In 2014, the African Union (AU) member states adopted the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods (the Malabo Declaration). This declaration provides direction to transform the agricultural sector in Africa for the period 2015-2025 within the wider framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). It is an essential document that…
Esté Beerwinkel
March 12, 2020
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Andries du Toit: Beyond the “populist” challenge

PLAAS recently reposted three thought-provoking blog posts exploring progressive  responses to  the new wave of ‘populist’  politics that has risen to prominence since 2015:  Ian Scoones’s overview of the activities of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative, and Brian Levy’s reflections on the ‘four moral challenges’ of populist discourse, and on the nature of appropriate responses to the antagonistic and confrontational…
Esté Beerwinkel
February 6, 2020
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Euclides Gonçalves: Corridors Miniseries–Agricultural Commercialisation along Mozambique’s Growth Corridors

People cannot eat gas, oil or coal Since he took office in 2015, president Filipe Nyusi has sought to redirect the attention of Mozambicans, from the prospect of wealth associated with the exploration of natural resources, to increasing agricultural production and productivity. In his words: “the people do not eat gas, oil or eat coal.” Along the Beira and Nacala…
Esté Beerwinkel
January 21, 2020
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Emmanuel Sulle: Corridors Miniseries: Accumulation and Contested Commercialisation in Tanzania

Tanzania, like many other African countries, needs significant investment in agriculture to achieve key development goals—poverty alleviation, economic growth and industrialisation, food security and improved nutrition. Since the late 2000s, the Tanzanian government, in partnership with donor agencies and the private sector, launched several initiatives, including the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). This is a public-private partnership aimed…
Esté Beerwinkel
January 21, 2020
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Ngala Chome: Corridors Miniseries–Anticipating Lamu’s New Corridor on Kenya’s Coast

The day starts early in Lamu, an ancient archipelago on Kenya’s northern coast. Fishermen, sailors and boat makers can be seen striding towards the sea, where moon-powered tides and sea waves are the undisputed masters. Hours later, their skiffs return from the shallow waters surrounding the mouth of the archipelago on Manda and Pate islands. They approach the main island,…
Esté Beerwinkel
January 21, 2020