EPD PhD Intern Presents Research Findings at AERC Workshop

Bhekiwe Fakudze (EPD PhD Intern) participated in a Thesis Dissemination Workshop on 30th January 2019 in Mbabane, Swaziland. The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, hosted this event as part of its Collaborative Masters in Agricultural and Applied Economics (CMAAE) programme. Experts from the University of Swaziland and other stakeholders ranging from farmers, financiers and policy makers also attended this postgraduate training workshop.

The one-day long workshop, under the theme “Smallholder Efficiency and Productivity under Climate Variability”, involved a series of these findings presentations by 11 alumni from the University of Pretoria and the University of Swaziland who embarked on Master of Science in Agricultural Economics. Bhekiwe presented her Masters’ thesis findings on the commercialisation of smallholder farmers with specific focus on South Africa’s National Red Meat Development Programme.

The AERC Director of Training, Dr. Innocent Matshe, observed that a disconnect exists between researchers and the people at grassroots level, contributing towards inadequate dissemination of research findings, slow uptake of research evidence and policies that are not based on current evidence. This disconnect induced widespread policy failures,   stunting the development of Africa’s agricultural sector and the implementation of policies that rarely serve smallholder farmers.  Participating stakeholders appreciated the platform provided by AERC and CMAAE where knowledge producers interacted with diverse stakeholders, sharing insights from research findings and using these findings to inform improved policy interventions.

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