Featured image for “Remembering Robin Palmer, a giant in defence of land rights in Africa and beyond”

Remembering Robin Palmer, a giant in defence of land rights in Africa and beyond

March 16, 2023
A tribute by Craig Castro Robin Palmer, Oxfam GB (OGB)’s former global land advisor, passed away on Sunday 19 February 2023. He was a wonderful friend and colleague from whom I personally learned so much about land and property rights in Africa. As a regional advisor for OGB in southern Africa, I worked closely with Robin in organizing a landmark
Featured image for “Power in the Pandemic: food, farming and coronavirus in the Philippines”

Power in the Pandemic: food, farming and coronavirus in the Philippines

June 2, 2020
Throughout the upcoming weeks and months, Power Shifts is partnering with the Oxfam in Depth podcast to share the experiences of people living through the Coronavirus outbreak in our new Power in the Pandemic podcast. We’ll be hearing from people across the world as they tell us how COVID-19 is affecting their lives and how their communities are organizing to tackle the effects of the crisis. 
Featured image for ““Let’s Eat Right”: women tackling malnutrition through urban farming”

“Let’s Eat Right”: women tackling malnutrition through urban farming

October 2, 2019
Maureen Muketha is a 24 year-old nutritionist and founder of Tule Vyema, a community-based organization focused on targeting malnutrition and food insecurity in Kenya.  I grew up in Kiserian in Kajiado County, Kenya, an arid and marginalized environment where malnutrition and poverty were prevalent. I have seen how persistently women and children are the hardest hit by changing environmental conditions and limited access to food. Because
Featured image for “How do we liberate agriculture and development from academic preferences?”

How do we liberate agriculture and development from academic preferences?

August 8, 2019
Charles Dhewa is a knowledge management specialist working at the intersection of formal and informal agricultural markets. The organisation he founded, Knowledge Transfer Africa, has set up a fluid knowledge and information platform called eMKambo, which tracks trends and ensures agricultural value chains are driven by knowledge, technology and innovation. Between key informants and literature reviews, which are the most

What can Positive Deviance reveal about gender and social change?

October 15, 2018
Today is the UN International Day for Rural Women, so here are Patti Petesch, Shelley Feldman  and Lone Badstue to introduce some really interesting new research on what works. What can a Positive Deviance approach add to our understanding of gender equality in rural villages? To find out we analysed a sample of 79 villages in 17 countries and identified eight

What have 3 years of campaigning on Big Food achieved? What still needs to happen?

April 19, 2016
Erinch Sahan, acting head of Oxfam’s private sector team, looks back on 3 years of trying to get the world’s food giants to clean up their act, the subject of a new Behind the Brands report. The captains of the food industry have come a long way over the last few years. The “Big 10”, the world’s 10 largest food and

New research: A wage revolution could end extreme poverty in Asia, with massive knock-on effects in Africa

October 8, 2014
Spoke last week as a ‘discussant’ (my favourite speaking role, no prep required) at the launch of an extraordinary new ODI paper, with the deeply forgettable title ‘rural wages in Asia’ (we’ll come back to the title later). In one of those papers that restores your faith in economists, Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats crunch the available data on 13

Not so mega? The risky business of large-scale public-private partnerships in African agriculture

September 16, 2014
Oxfam policy adviser Robin Willoughby shrugs off the big ag groupthink and argues that the current trend of mega projects in African agriculture is a risky and unproven way to help poor farmers. Last week, I attended a large summit on the future of African agriculture in Addis Ababa, hosted by A Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA). My participation really

Who Wants to Farm? Hardly any young people, it seems. Should/Could that change?

May 21, 2014
Since I started globetrotting many decades years ago, I’ve always asked peasants and farm labourers a simple question – ‘would you like your kids to become farmers?’ Across continents, the answer has hardly ever been ‘yes’. That creates a bit of a problem for the ‘peasant romantic’ wing of the aid business, who are then forced to argue that either

How can Governments and Donors support Africa’s Women Farmers?

April 24, 2014
I got into a bit of hot water recently for a recent post taking down a dodgy stat on women’s land ownership, so it’s nice to be able to post on some really good numbers on gender and agriculture. Levelling the Field: Improving Opportunities for Women Farmers in Africa, is an important and innovative new report (exec sum here, full report here) – sorry

The End of Cheap Rice: Good News or Catastrophe?

August 21, 2013
Are high food prices here to stay, and if so are they a Good Thing (producers benefit) or a Bad Thing (consumers go hungry)? These are the questions explored by a thought-provoking and very even-handed new paper (only 5 pages) from the ODI on the ‘end of cheap rice’. From the Summary: “After more than 30 years of decline as

The future of Agriculture: useful teaching resource/briefing on current debates

August 20, 2013
If you’re looking for a teaching resource on current debates on agriculture and development, take a look at ‘The Future of Agriculture’, a rather goodsynthesis of a two week online debate hosted by Oxfam last December. The paper, written by Maya Manzi and Gine Zwart, has a 10 page summary of the 23 posts and comments from some 300 participants,