Dr Peter Jacobs

DEPARTMENT: Economic Perfomance and Development (EPD)
TELEPHONE: +27 (0)21 466 7849
EMAIL: pjacobs@hsrc.ac.za

Dr Peter Jacobs is a Research Director in the Economic Performance and Development research Programme (EPD). He holds a PhD in Economics from Fordham University (New York) and a C1 research rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF). Before joining the HSRC in 2007, he was the Head of Department in Economics at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He also worked on land reform policy issues in the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at UWC. In 2015 we won the HSRC capacity development award and in 2016 received the prestigious Fulbright Research grant to complete a new book manuscript at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

His areas of research interest include: the economics of agrarian change and rural socio-economic transitions, with special emphasis on land reform and small-scale farming, social dynamics of rural innovation, agro-food systems and food and nutrition security. As an experienced principal investigator, he has successfully completed several large-scale research projects that blend different methodologies.

Dr Jacobs' publication record spans the authoring and co-authoring of more than 90 conference presentations, journal articles and book chapters on development, gender, agricultural markets, rural innovation, food and nutrition security and pro-poor budgeting. He has recently edited a special issue of the journal Development Southern Africa (DSA) on Sustainable Rural Development in South Africa.

Recent

Revealing the social face of innovation

Despite the introduction of social innovation in the 1996 White Paper on Science and Technology, the concept of social innovation has not been activel....

Local is lekker: the relevance of local agricultural innovations in rural South Africa

Innovation often occurs in unexpected forms and in the least obvious places in our societies, like the informal sector. The relevance of informal inno....

Silk from Mopani worms: innovation at work

New techniques in harvesting and producing wild silk can yield huge benefits for rural communities. One example is the Ganyesa Wild Silk enterprise in....

Doing things better in marginalised rural localities

In almost all low-income countries rurality is associated with geographic regions trapped in backwardness, poverty and underdevelopment. Rural areas ....

Pro-poor rural development in South Africa?

This chapter examines key questions about the purpose, design, implementation and impacts of government initiatives in rural areas. How have rural tra....

Rural innovation assessment toolbox (RIAT): final report of phases one and two: reflections on and lessons from the pilot study

The study started with a thorough engagement with the current literature and a number of innovation expert. From this process the key concepts of inno....

The social dynamics of innovation for rural development

The idea that innovation is only for increased market shares and profits is widely held. How poor communities benefit from innovations as direct users....

How do small farm households benefit from ICT access and use?

Small farm households in rural South Africa are learning to exploit information and communication technology (ICT) devices and services to accumulate ....

Methodology wars in the measuring and evaluation of innovation

The typical instruments and manuals used to evaluate a country's level and extent of research and development and science, technology and innovation, ....

Incomprehension follows the comprehensive rural development programme

In mid-2009, when the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme was unveiled, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti, stressed this....

Nutritional contribution of street foods to the diet of people in developing countries: a systematic review

Objective: To review studies examining the nutritional value of street foods and their contribution to the diet of consumers in developing countries. ....

Spreading the news: the use of ICT to raise rural living standards

Twenty-first century technologies are rapidly spreading into rural Africa, Asia and Latin America. What prospects for broad-based socioeconomic and hu....

Effect of climate change on resource-poor small farmers

Climate change is a long-term process which is characterised by warmer than average temperatures or global warming; and rising frequency and intensity....

Understanding rural livelihoods in the West Coast district, South Africa

This article applies the sustainable rural livelihoods approach to purposefully collect and analyse data on how the rural poor live and work in South ....

Food for thought: the community work programme

The Presidency piloted an innovative type of public work scheme that has the potential to help meet the food security and nutrition needs of vulnerabl....

Protecting food insecure households against rapid food price inflation

This policy brief outlines recommendations regarding household profiles, location and main household income and spending patterns to raise efficiency ....

Value chains to drive rural development

Policy makers frequently associate rural development with how 'value chains' work. A value chain is the set of activities whereby a company takes raw ....

Agro-food market policy and food security in South Africa

South Africa experienced two waves of rapid food inflation in 2001-02 and 2007-08. During both periods the surge in the cost of food undermined the fo....

The socio-economic impact of the global downturn on South Africa: responses and policy implications

The report starts with a discussion of the channels through which the global economic crisis (GEC) was transmitted to South Africa. Unlike other emerg....

Household food insecurity, rapid food price inflation and the economic downturn in South Africa

Has the dramatic rise in food price inflation between 2007 and 2009 and the 2008-2009 economic downturn affected experiences of household hunger in So....

Livelihood strategies of rural women in Eastern Cape and Limpopo

This analysis of new household data collected in rural Limpopo and the Eastern Cape of South Africa reveals that structural inequalities exist betwee....

Food buying patterns in rural Eastern Cape and Limpopo

How rural households meet their food needs is shifting the food-security policy debate. This became clear from research collected from both female- an....

The potential of social grants expenditure to promote local economic development and job creation

This paper argues for developmental social policy and explores options to use social grants transfer instruments (cash, in-kind and vouchers) to achie....

Food security in South Africa

The Human Sciences Research Council led a project to review household food security status in South Africa. This project was aimed at ensuring afforda....

Nourishing rural poverty - South Africa's unchanging land relations

The South African neo-liberal model of development has overall produced greater social differentiation since the end of apartheid in 1994. This is roo....

Household food security status in South Africa

The Human Sciences Research Council has established a policy research initiative to monitor household food security and to identify and evaluate polic....

The status of household food security targets in South Africa

This article investigates the conceptual and methodological challenges to develop a set of baseline indicators for South African food security targets....

The contribution of subsistence farming to food security in South Africa

Poor households access their food from the market, subsistence production and transfers from public programmes or other households. In the past rural ....

Questioning pro-poor responses to the global economic slump

This goal is not to repeat the well documented and exhaustive analyses of how the economic crisis started and evolved. Instead this briefing exposes ....

Agricultural employment scenarios

This chapter seeks to re-examine the potential of agriculture to contribute to job creation and poverty reduction in South Africa. It does so mainly ....

The contribution of subsistence farming to food security in South Africa

The main aim of this paper is to discuss the contribution of availability of, and access to, improved farm inputs for subsistence/smallholder farmers ....

Women in urban and peri-agriculture: sustaining livelihoods in the Cape metropolitan area

Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) has emerged as one of the responses to multiple livelihood challenges that poorer city dwellers face. Urban wom....

A new generation of heterodox development scholars

This report evaluates the significance of a heterodox development economics conference held in Cape Town, South Africa in December 2007. To place this....

Towards comprehensive food security measures

Food security is a multi-dimensional issue that has been difficult to measure comprehensively, given the one-dimensional focus of existing indicators.....

Allocating farmland to rural women: new insights

Land reform in South Africa intends to redress racial imbalances with regard to ownership and access to land. On the surface, the various strategy doc....

Are land reform farms going to waste?

Since its inception in 1995, South Africa's land reform programme has been severely criticised. But are these criticisms valid and supported by eviden....

A multidimensional approach to measuring household food security in Taraba state, Nigeria: comparing key indicators

This study used household data from Taraba State, Nigeria, to explore the advantages of using a multidimensional approach to measure food and nutritio....