Structural Transformation and Gender Rights in African Agriculture

What Pathways to Food Sovereignty and Sustainable Food Security?
01 January 2013
Paper

This paper brings up for policy discussion, some of the threats to Africa’s food sovereignty, gender rights and food security, in the process of agrarian transformation.

The key questions are: What threats does structural transformation pose to the sovereign rights of countries as well as to gender rights and inclusive growth in Africa’s agriculture? What are the likely outcomes of recent policy changes with respect to agricultural growth and transformation on small farmers especially with focus on land rights and corporatization of land (land-grabbing)? How can these threats be turned into opportunities for rural women such that sustainable agrarian growth as well as food security is achieved? We raise and discuss pertinent issues to seek answers to these questions in the body of the paper. The implicit hypotheses of this discussion paper is that current pathways to structural transformation (ST) may appear to pose more threats than opportunities for food security and the rights of small women farmers and inter alia, for sustainable food security in agrarian African countries.

Research Professor, Economic Policy Research Department, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research Professor Akanji’s research and consultancies focus on agricultural markets and structural studies, socioeconomic policy and programme evaluation, gender analysis of agricultural policies, with emphasis on poverty, food security and sustainable livelihoods. She is member, International Working Group on Gender and Macro-economics and currently Visiting (Adjunct) Professor, University of Rhode Island, Kingston USA.

Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.