1st Edition

University Engagement with Farming Communities in Africa Community Action Research Platforms

Edited By Anthony Egeru, Megan Lindow, Kay Muir Leresche Copyright 2024
    328 Pages 99 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    328 Pages 99 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explains and explores how collaborations can be built and strengthened between African universities and farming communities to address real-world contemporary challenges.

    The book focuses on Community Action Research Platforms, an approach that has successfully enabled African universities to break free of the ivory tower and prove their relevance to society through deep collaborative engagements in targeted agricultural value chains. Developed in a pan-African network of universities (RUFORUM) focused on capacity building in agriculture, the approach has been tested in diverse settings over the last 15 years. The book draws on the experiences and lessons from 21 different projects initiated by RUFORUM member universities in Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. It highlights a critical yet underutilised role for African universities as collaborators and catalysts for multisector solutions. These are solutions that increase productivity and address climate change. They develop livelihoods and resilience in rural communities, as well as promote farmers’ access to markets, innovation and trade while safeguarding biodiversity and enhancing food and nutrition security. The book makes a case for repositioning African universities as fulcrums of development in society. It shares the rich experiences, learnings and scientific findings of diverse researchers, practitioners and students who have been working towards achieving this reality on the ground.

    This multidisciplinary book holds appeal for university leaders, higher education, agrifood and development specialists, researchers and practitioners, policymakers and development agencies engaged in African agriculture and rural development, higher education and sustainable growth.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.

    Anthony Egeru, Patrick Okori and Megan Lindow

    PART I Lessons and voices from the CARPs

    1 Designing for relevance: a new orientation for research

    Anthony Egeru, Megan Lindow and Patrick Okori

    2 Building value chain innovation platforms with communities

    Megan Lindow, Anthony Egeru and Kay Muir Leresche

    3 Universities fit for purpose

    Megan Lindow, Anthony Egeru and Kay Muir Leresche

    4 Learning in motion

    Megan Lindow, Anthony Egeru and Kay Muir Leresche

    5 Change agents, ripple effects, wider impacts

    Megan Lindow, Anthony Egeru and Kay Muir Leresche

    6 Facilitating a student and community-centred, experiential approach to research and innovation

    Nancy Mungai, Duncan Ongeng, Patience Mshenga and Megan Lindow

    PART II The specific impacts of each of the fifteen Community Action Research Platform projects implemented 2016–2022

    7 Enhancing agribusiness rice clusters and market linkages for food security and incomes in northern Uganda

    Basil Mugonola, Apollo Kasharu, Jimmy Lamo and Daniel Ogwang

    8 Enhancing safflower production and product development for food security and improving incomes of small-scale farmers in Botswana

    Vallantino Emongor, Bamphiti Tiroesele and Onkgolotse Moatshe-Mashiqa

    9 Sustainable commercial pineapple value chain system for increased yield and income, and improved livelihood of smallholder farmers in Central Region, Ghana

    Festus Annor-Frempong

    10 Empowerment and poverty reduction in rural coastal Kenya through the cassava value chain

    Agnes Mwang’ombe, Samwel Onyango, D. C. Kilalo and P. Waswa

    11 Unlocking opportunities in the cassava CARP value chain project in Nakuru County, Kenya

    Richard M. S. Mulwa, Joseph W. Matofari, Joshua O. Ogendo, Peter F. Arama and Bockline O. Bebe

    12 Seed potato production in Nakuru, Kenya: outcomes and implications of an active multi-stakeholder platform

    Anthony Mwangi Kibe, Mariam Mwangi and Agnes Oywaya Nkurumwa

    13 Inclusion of farmer communities in value chain development: a case of potato in South-western Uganda

    Johnny Mugisha, Peter Wasswa, Napoléon Heri Bahati-Kajunju and Abel Atukwase

    14 Enhancing pig production and marketing for smallholder farmers in northern Uganda

    Elly Kurobuza Ndyomugyenyi, Tony Aliro and Walter Odongo

    15 Building competitiveness for communal farmers through developing the wool value chain in the Free State Province of South Africa

    Jan W. Swanepoel

    16 Climate-smart agriculture: improving dryland crop yields and value addition through university–community partnership in Zimbabwe

    Ronald Mandumbu, George Nyamadzawo, Wadzanayi Innocent Nyakudya, Agathar Kamota and Friday N. M. Kubiku

    17 Enhancing community adaptation through climate-resilient agriculture: Encroacher bushes value chains initiative in Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

    Simon Angombe, Cecil Togarepi, John Mupangwa and Hikevali Ndinomuwa

    18 The empowerment of women and youth: enhancing climate-smart productivity of vegetables and key livestock value chains, Sudan

    Muna Mohamed Elhag, Tafaol E. Ali, Lubna M. Musa, Igbal E. I. Mohamed, Mutasim A. M. Elagab and Ali E. Eljack

    19 Strengthening the beekeeping value chain in Western Kordofan State, Sudan

    Ahmed Idris, Ali Mohamed, Asma Hamad, Ruhama Abdallh, Osman Khmis and Hana Mohammed

    20 Improvement of indigenous coping strategies in famine-stricken Darfur, Sudan

    Elhadi A. I. Elkhalil, H. A. H. Osman, A. E. M. Elzein, E. M. Mohammed and E. E. A. Ahmed

    21 Scaling up African baobab food products valuation through enhancement of their safety and value chains for food and nutritional security in Benin, West-Africa

    Achille E. Assogbadjo, A. Hounkpèvi, K. V. Salako, Flora J. Chadaré, R. Idohou, Rodrigue C. Gbèdomon and R. Glèlè Kakaï


    Anthony Egeru is the Training and Community Development Manager at the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Secretariat and is an Associate Professor at Makerere University, Uganda. His research focuses on stochastic environmental change processes and social systems, and he has facilitated community action research across 23 African countries.

    Megan Lindow is a writer based in Cape Town, South Africa, whose work focuses on documenting complex processes of development and change in spaces of education, research, agriculture and food systems, climate change, gender equality and sustainable development across Africa and beyond. She holds an MA in journalism from Stanford University, USA, and an MPhil in Sustainable Development from Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

    Kay Muir Leresche is a former Professor of Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Zimbabwe, Africa. After retiring, she chaired the RUFORUM Technical Committee from 2004 to 2017 and worked with many international development and research agencies. She is committed to supporting universities to catalyse the transformation of sustainable and inclusive agriculture in Africa.