Farmer organization, mobilization and political opportunities for sustainable agricultural development in Africa: Towards comparative analysis

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use


  • Farmers, Agriculture, Sustainable Development Goals


It is well-known that policies which prioritize the needs and interests of poor smallholder farmers constitute one of the most effective ways to combat poverty and food insecurity. Despite this, realization of such policies often remains a major political challenge – not least in sub-Saharan Africa. Around the world, recent years have seen the emergence of rural social movement that mobilize against agricultural policies they view as both unjust and unsustainable. This is true also in several African countries, but less so than in many other regions. Although poorly researched, suggested barriers to emergence of rural social movements here include low levels of farmer organization, ‘NGOization’ of civil society, internal conflicts and sometimes government repression. This project seeks to conduct a pre-study and create a consortium for research on farmer organization, mobilization and political opportunity for sustainable and smallholder-centered agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. It includes three steps: 1) literature review and actor mapping, 2) qualitative stakeholder interviews and a study visit, and 3) a participatory workshop to establish a research network and prepare an application for a larger research project. The long-term goal is to create a strong transdisciplinary platform for comparative, critically engaged research on farmers’ organizational capacity, mobilization and political opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Short titleMobilization for the SDGs
Effective start/end date2018/12/012020/02/29


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