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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…
PLAAS
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…
PLAAS
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…
PLAAS
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…
PLAAS
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…
PLAAS
February 6, 2020
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Brian Levy: Combat fire not with fire, but non-violent resistance

How to fight back against toxic populism? In the spirit of standing up against bullies, a natural tendency is to fight fire with fire. But is this the right response? A few years ago, this question might have seemed to be largely of historical interest—an exploration of, say, whether different tactics by Germany’s left and centre-left might have slowed the…
PLAAS
January 31, 2020
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Brian Levy: Learning from populism–four moral struggles

While I’ve not become a born-again populist, a sea change in the tenor of political discourse has led me to explore some uncomfortable terrain: What might be usefully be learned for the task of democratic renewal from the resurgence of populism in country after country? I have come to understand that the health of societies and polities depends on modes…
PLAAS
January 31, 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…
PLAAS
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…
PLAAS
January 21, 2020