Agriculture is key to global sustainable development – particularly in countries where agriculture accounts for the majority of land use and provides a livelihood for a majority of the population. This project targets the issue of how to overcome political barriers to sustainable and inclusive agricultural development in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, by analyzing the conditions for, development of and outcomes from farmer-based political mobilization in rural areas in three countries. Our approach emphasizes the scientific and societal benefits of pursuing comparative research based on profound collaboration between academia and civil society.
The aim of this project is twofold:
1. to understand the emergence, development and outcomes of farmer mobilization for sustainable and smallholder-centered agricultural development in SSA, drawing on evidence from Ghana, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
2. to strengthen action-oriented research capacity for critically engaged research for sustainable agricultural development in participating countries.
The project will involve case-based in-depth fieldwork, theoretically guided by the synthesis approach to social movement studies which highlights the interactions between three core aspects: framing processes, mobilizing structures, and political opportunity. Aside from generating practically useful knowledge and advancing theory, we will build research capacity for critically engaged, collaborative research on social mobilization around sustainable rural development in SSA. To ensure needs-based research and effective knowledge exchange between academia and society, we adopt a collaborative approach with close academic-civil society interaction throughout the project.