Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, January 8, 2018

Introducing APRA (Agricultural Policy Research in Africa)

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (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. Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), APRA’s directorate is at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK.

APRA will operate in six focal countries, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, with two additional secondary countries, Kenya and Mozambique. The aim is to work in sites in that provide valuable insights into pathways and different types of commercialisation.

Agricultural commercialisation is encouraged by growing demand both for agricultural products (food, raw materials supplies for agro-industries) and for workers within growing urban centres. However, agricultural commercialisation can also contribute to the process of structural transformation in the wider economy by:
  • increasing the supplies of food that are marketed for consumption by urban consumers, thereby keeping prices down (making wage labour in manufacturing and service industries more competitive) or reducing reliance on imports (economising on scarce foreign exchange)
  • increasing foreign exchange earnings through sale of export commodities, thereby facilitating acquisition of imported capital equipment for manufacturing 
  • providing a source of tax revenue for public investment, although too much taxation is likely to choke the process of agricultural commercialisation • releasing labour for employment in other sectors of the economy, insofar as commercialisation is associated with rising labour productivity in agricultural production 

Malawi and groundnut commercialisation:


15th November 2017. The APRA programme was launched at the Land and Policy Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,.

Dr Janet Edeme, Head of Rural Economy Division, Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission and Chair of the APRA International Advisory Group, opened the launch, highlighting the need for ‘agricultural transformation’ in Africa and the exciting prospects of APRA's research.

Lidia Cabral, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies recently presented on Brazil and South-South Cooperation at the conference on “South-South Knowledge Sharing on Agricultural Mechanization” in Ethiopia. The conference was jointly organised by IFPRI, CIMMYT and the Ethiopian Agricultural Mechanization Forum, and took place between October 31st and November 1st,

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