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How the informal economy tackles the middle class trap

In African countries where agriculture is a major socio-economic activity, policy makers and development agencies seem determined to move economic activities from agriculture to manufacturing. The whole discourse around value…

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Which country has achieved economic growth through micro finance?

If you answer the above question correctly, a ton of pearl millet is waiting for you at eMKambo. When many organisations across the globe are merging in order to sustain…

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Making sense of invisible advantages in rural African communities

Many rural African communities have seen development programmes and business models come and go. What has kept these communities alive is their invisible advantages in the form of local culture….

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ANALYSIS:What has gone wrong with the groundnut market in Zimbabwe?

Groundnut has traditionally been a famous cash cow in Zimbabwe. Many Cabinet ministers, captains of industry, academics and bankers can testify to have gone to school because their parents were…

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The joys and benefits of learning directly from plants and animals

In spite of the current obsession with formal learning approaches where people are encouraged to learn from each other, many African farmers remain convinced they can learn more from plants…

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How to be a catalyst for better agricultural outcomes in 2017

Developing countries which embrace a business – as – usual approach to agricultural development will take more than a century to eradicate food insecurity. Continuing with 2016 patterns implies 2017…

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How can farmers and agribusinesses prepare themselves for success in 2017?

Most agricultural interventions into African communities do not sufficiently prepare farmers and local agribusinesses for growth and success. That is why as soon as support dries up, most agricultural actors…

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What makes informal institutions superior at embedding knowledge

Where formal organizations try to store their knowledge in the form of corporate processes and procedures, informal institutions like people’s agriculture markets pack their knowledge into routines and memorable metaphors….

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Lessons from how informal markets keep agricultural knowledge fresh

Just as agriculture markets prefer fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs and other commodities, knowledge on all these commodities should also be kept fresh. It is through regular visits to the…

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Some of the reasons why small grains continue to resist winner take all commercialization

From Mali to Zimbabwe and South Africa to Southern Sudan, small grains remain an integral part of mainstream local food systems.  There are many reasons why small grains continue to…

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