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The hybrid nature of most African economies

Most African economies are often presented as being dual, comprising the formal and informal economy. However, in real practice the two parts function as a hybrid economy which borrows from…

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Silent and health competition in African fresh food markets

A few years ago, it appeared supermarkets were the only place where consumers would find fresh fruits and vegetables in African cities. The situation has changed dramatically.  Armed with new…

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Lessons from how farmers view wealth creation as a holistic system

Although there is a tendency to treat the majority of African smallholder farmers as passive recipients of external information and knowledge, they are very good at learning from their experiences….

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Taming agricultural value chains through data and evidence

Many people who grew up in African communities practicing mixed farming, remember how taming young bulls or steers into a span of oxen was not easy. The situation was the…

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African agriculture requires serious disruptive thinkers

If African agriculture is to be truly transformative, there is need for disruptive thinkers who can  revisit boundaries between smallholder and large scale farmers. These boundaries have extended from physical…

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Limitations of using documents and reports to share knowledge in Africa

Many well-intentioned organisations and people are being frustrated by the shortcomings of using case studies, most significant change stories and conference presentations in spreading success from one African community to…

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How can we measure the cost of lost knowledge in the agriculture sector?

One of the enduring challenges in African agriculture is defining effective metrics to measure the value of knowledge. In most agricultural value chains, knowledge is not considered a cost component….

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African agriculture is witnessing a shift from physical to value chain collateral

While African financial institutions are still stuck with traditional banking models invented in the West, African agricultural value chains have shifted in ways that threaten to render banks irrelevant to…

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How can agricultural policy makers stay ahead of trends?

The way public and private institutions have been set up in most developing countries does not create space for adequately absorbing feedback from many people. Bureaucratic structures such as government…

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From acronyms and buzzwords to building local institutions

In spite of promises surrounding mobile technology, African communities still face enormous barriers to accessing reliable, relevant and usable information and knowledge. Over the past decades, international organisations like the…

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