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About Jim Sumberg

Research Fellow

Jim Sumberg is an agriculturalist by training and has over 25 years experience working on small-scale farming systems and agricultural research policy in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. A key research interest has been the dynamics of change within agricultural systems.

All posts by Jim

Why we should argue about agronomy

“The real problem is that too many people are playing politics with agriculture, and poor people are suffering – agronomists should stick to the facts!” Organic agriculture, agroecology, Conservation Agriculture, the System of Rice Intensification, Holistic Management (Savory System), integrated pest management, Green Revolution style intensification, genetically modified crops – what do all of these…

A new way of bringing ‘farms’ and ‘systems’ together

by Jim Sumberg, Stephen Whitfield and Ken Giller How do we understand farms as systems, and farms as part of systems? The terms and definitions that researchers use affect how we see farming and agriculture in relation to ecology, society and politics. So is it time for a rethink? The words ‘farm’ (or ‘farming’) and…

The limits of ‘evidence’: Evidence-Based Policy-making for African agriculture

By James Sumberg, Martha Awo, John Thompson, George T-M Kwadzo and Dela-Dem Doe Fiankor, Researchers, STEPS Centre Livestock project Agricultural policy makers in Africa are now being dragged into the era of ‘evidence-based’ policy (EBP) making. But the quality and availability of evidence in some countries – and debates about what even counts as evidence…

Ghana: take 70,900 metric tons of frozen chicken, add politics

A billboard advertising chicken in Accra, Ghana. By alew on Flickr By Jim Sumberg and John Thompson Convenors, STEPS Centre Livestock project The well known expression – that [something] is ‘as likely as turkeys voting for Christmas’ – makes an intriguing and to date poorly understood link between poultry and electoral politics. But in some…