Governing The Land-Water-Environment Nexus: Grant Awardees 2017-2018

The following researchers have received grants for 2017-2018 for research under the project Governing the Land-Water-Environment Nexus in Southern Africa.

Eromose Ebhuoma 

Eromose Ebhuoma was awarded the degree of a PhD in December 2017, at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. His PhD explored the extent to which indigenous farmers in the Delta State of Nigeria maximised their limited resources or bundle of assets in order to continue annually in food production, in the wake of climate change.

As a beneficiary of the 2017 STEPS governing the nexus project in Southern Africa, his research utilises a political ecology framework to illuminate the ways in which post-apartheid policies have made it relatively easier for rural households in Cwaru, Eastern Cape, a former homeland in South Africa, to engage in livestock farming. In addition, his research is also interested in highlighting the factors that weakens the ability of some households to engage effectively and efficiently in livestock farming. The overall aim is to ensure that the plight of the most vulnerable in the region are brought to the fore, so that people that fall within this bracket are not left behind in future interventions that will be put in place to eradicate poverty in the former homelands.

Eromose’s research interests include political ecology, indigenous knowledge systems, climate change adaptation and policy.

Grace Mwaura

Dr Grace Mwaura has eight years’ experience working with local, regional, and international organizations on interdisciplinary issues of youth and environment, agriculture, conservation, education, entrepreneurship, and leadership among others. Her current interests are in interdisciplinary research, environmental policy analysis, and strategy development in the youth-development-environment space. She is currently conducting research for the Overseas Development Institute, consulting for Climate Interactive, and is a non-resident research fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS).

With her Governing the Nexus grant, Grace critics the narratives of greening youth livelihoods by examining young farmers’ understanding of the land-water-environment nexus in the context of their agribusinesses. She is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya.


Gregg Smith

Having recently completed an MA in Poverty and Development at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Gregg now works as an independent researcher in Brighton with interests in political ecology, resource politics and environmental justice. He is currently working with IDS as a Research Officer on a qualitative evaluation of a World Bank-funded social protection programme in Madagascar.

Gregg’s MA dissertation focused on the impacts of exclusionary conservation policy – in the form of the Mikea National Park in Madagascar – on the vulnerability and wellbeing of local forest-dependent populations.

In 2017, he spent time in Madagascar conducting field research for his project entitled Governing the Nexus in Southern Africa: exploring contestations around the enactment of the Ranobe mine, south west Madagascar. The project’s aim is to understand the potential socio-ecological impacts of the upcoming mining project and contested understandings of its processes.

Marie-France Baron Bonarjee

Marie-France Baron Bonarjee is a Phd student researcher at PLAAS, University of Western Cape with Professor Ben Cousins as supervisor. Prior to joining PLAAS Marie-France was a Research Associate at the Sam Moyo African Institute for Agrarian Studies in Harare where her work focused on the redistributive impacts of Zimbabwe’s land reforms. She completed her MPhil in Public Administration & Policy at the University of Bergen, Norway and has worked as an analyst and researcher in Norway and Zimbabwe.

Her current research addresses the integration of smallholders as broiler producers in chicken for meat value chains in Zimbabwe today.  In the past decade after the Fast Track Land reform in 2000, smallholders as a group have entered the market in substantial numbers to become the largest demand sector for production inputs and producers of the largest share of broiler meat consumed in Zimbabwe.  The research considers emerging types of relationships shaping different types of value chain arrangements and interrogates their implications and outcomes for production and intermediary processing markets. Understanding the impacts of these changes on questions of Gender and Livelihoods, and other benefits which may derive from increased participation in such markets is of key interest to the study.

Mnqobi Ngubane

Mnqobi Ngubane is a PhD student at the Institute for Poverty, Land & Agrarian Studies. His PhD research is on production dynamics on recently redistributed land in South Africa’s eastern Free State province.  Mnqobi is also a volunteer at a former land rights organization where he works part-time on artisan skills development for young people on redistributed land beyond farming.

Mnqobi’s PhD research is about production dynamics on recently redistributed land in eastern Free State Province of South Africa against the backdrop of failure and success in that country’s land reform. This research is grounded in the political economy of agrarian change, in particular the social differentiation lenses in its analysis of causal dynamics of success, and failure of farming on small and medium sized (70-1000ha) family farms owned by new land reform beneficiaries.  For this on-going PhD research farm production data is analysed at its interface with wealth ranking data in attempt to illuminate social differentiation dynamics of the family farms under study, especially in light of implications of the study for wider land redistribution policy debate in South Africa, and southern Africa at large, especially the most recent debate about the ‘elite capture’ of South Africa’s land reform.

Tapiwa Chatikobo

Tapiwa Chatikobo is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. His PhD research focusses on the relationship between livestock production and changed tenure system in the post-land reform period in Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe. Tapiwa is trained as a human geographer, and holds a BSc (hons) from Midlands State University, Zimbabwe. He also holds an MSc from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. His MSc thesis focused on the impacts of a community-based grazing scheme – based on the concept of Holistic Management – on the beneficiaries’ livelihoods in Hwange Communal Lands, Zimbabwe.

Suraya Scheba

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