Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures

ethiopia farm workers

Rising Powers in African agriculture: Are China and Brazil bringing new paradigms to agricultural development cooperation?

Project details

Discipline: Area and Development Studies
Funded Period: 01 October 2012 – 30 September 2015
Additional countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe
Rising powers: Brazil, China


The “China and Brazil in African Agriculture” (CBAA) project explores the new development cooperation engagements in agriculture across four African countries. The project examines the politics of aid and investment policy in China and Brazil, exploring how understandings of agricultural development are translated in aid and investment projects.

The project is carried out through an innovative international partnership connecting researchers from institutions in the UK and Africa, already linked through the IDS-led Future Agricultures Consortium, with colleagues from China and Brazil.

The research began with a scoping phase that generated working papers, conferences, and a special edition journal based on the information our research team-members already had access to in their respective countries and could write on with confidence. This is being followed by in-depth case studies of a sample of these projects, examining the ways in which experience and expertise from China and Brazil engage with the realities of African agriculture and the perspectives of African scientists and farmers. Comparative analysis across projects, countries and types of intervention addresses the question of whether a “new paradigm” of development cooperation is emerging, and assesses the implications for the future of aid and investment policy.

Project team

Principal Investigator

Ian Scoones, Institute of Development Studies

Other members of the core team

Alex Shankland, Brazil co-ordinator
Lidia Cabral, Brazil co-ordinator
Henry Tugendhat, Institute of Development Studies
Jing Gu, China co-ordinator Lila Buckley, China co-ordinator
Anna Locke, Overseas Development Institute
Dawit Alemu Bimirew, Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute
Kojo Amanor, University of Ghana, Legon
Langton Mukwereza, Research for Development Trust, Harare
Sérgio Chichava, IESE (Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Económicos), Maputo
Alcides Costa Vaz, University of Brasilia
Arilson Favareto, Brazilian Centre for Analysis and Planning
Qi Gubo, China Agricultural University
Li Xiaoyun, China Agricultural University
Tang Lixia, China Agricultural University (Profile page)
Seth Cook, International Institute for Environment and Development
Lu Jixia, China Agricultural University
Xu Xiuli, China Agricultural University
Yu Lerong, China Agricultural University


Working Paper series

A series of 24 papers, to be published throughout 2015, detailing the findings from the project.

Policy Briefs

IDS Bulletins

Collections of articles from this project in the flagship bulletin of the Institute of Development Studies:

Scoping studies

A set of seven working papers examining new patterns of development co-operation between Brazil, China and Africa (published March 2013).

Other publications

Henry Tugendhat discusses the project 'Rising Powers in African agriculture: Are China and Brazil bringing new paradigms to agricultural development cooperation?'.