These four working papers are the first results of a collaborative research group at the African Studies Centre in Leiden dealing with agro-food clusters in four African countries: Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Other studies will follow, both about these four countries and about other African countries.
The research group intends to study four types of ‘drivers of agricultural innovation break-throughs and blockages’: (i) urbanization and urban demand development for agricultural produce from relevant hinterlands; (ii) demand from elsewhere (for food, biofuels, and other export crops); (iii) business development and institutional arrangements in relevant value chains; and (iv) agricultural and rural development policies and practices. In the Tracking Development and APPP groups, the latter ‘driver’ received a lot of attention. In the ASC-AFCA team we tend to give due emphasis to the first driver of agricultural breakthroughs, which are currently happening all over Africa. We hope to be able to form research teams for particular agricultural products to do a detailed and, if possible, comparative (intra-African) analysis to determine the relative strengths of each of these four drivers of change for each of the ‘agricultural islands of effectiveness’ in the four countries and elsewhere in Africa.