Blog Category

Agricultural Transformation

Food System Transformation Will Take Strong Coordination and Political Will, Says 2023 Africa Agriculture Status Report

Sep 24th, 2023 • by S. Gustafson

Food systems in Africa have the potential to drive dramatic economic, food security, and environmental transformation in the coming decades, according to the 2023 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR). Realizing this potential, however, will require significant political will and investment, from both the public and the private sectors, in infrastructure, open trade, research and development, technological innovation, and enhanced education and opportunities for Africa’s rapidly expanding young population.

The Hidden Middle: How SMEs Are Driving Value Chain Transformation in SSA

Sep 6th, 2023 • by S. Gustafson

Debate around how to increase production and consumption of nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables and animal products in Africa south of the Sahara has long centered on overcoming constraints such as high cost. According to a new IFPRI working paper, however, this focus may ignore how grassroots efforts, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and midstream value chain actors, are in fact driving substantial growth in both supply of and demand for these more nutritious foods.

Solar-Powered Cold Storage Technologies and Agrifood System Modernization: Evidence from Nigeria

Jul 16th, 2023 • by S. Gustafson

Food loss and food waste continue to pose a serious challenge for sustainable agricultural growth and food and nutrition security around the world. In many developing countries, lack of modern storage and transportation infrastructure plays a large role in food loss and waste, particularly for more nutritious and profitable but perishable foods like fruits and vegetables.

How Cooperatives Can Drive Agricultural Transformation in Malawi

Jul 11th, 2023 • by S. Gustafson

Cooperative farming is often seen as potential pathway for smallholder producers to gain access to more lucrative market opportunities, thus improving their livelihoods and reducing poverty. Such is the case in Malawi, where agricultural cooperatives have been prioritized in the country’s 2063 development vision as a way to enhance the productivity and commercialization of the country’s many smallholder farmers. A recent policy note from the Malawi Strategy Support Program (MSSP) looks at the current state of the program and how policymakers can increase its chances of success.

‘Miracle seeds,’ informational curses? The risk of high expectations for new agricultural technologies


Over the next few decades, farmers in sub-Saharan Africa will need to produce more food on less land and under increasingly difficult climatic conditions. The use of climate-smart agricultural practices and improved technologies such as higher-yielding and drought-tolerant crop varieties are thought to be at least part of the solution. Unfortunately, concerns are rising that the use of improved inputs and technologies across the region now seems to be stagnating—or at least advancing at a slower pace than required.