Pathways of crop and livestock intensification for Green Revolution in Africa

This project looks at evidence from smallholder farmers in Rwanda examines with regards to agricultural intensification policies.


The increasing and competing demands for food, water, and energy make agricultural intensification imperative for Africa. While intensification and commercialisation of both crop and livestock production are at the top of the agricultural agenda, the sustainable intensification agenda does not yet provide a clear answer as to how smallholder farmers can meet multiple livelihood demands sustainably.

Rwandan farmers face an acute land constraint due to high dependence on agriculture in rural regions and increasing land uses for non-agricultural purposes in peri-urban areas. One of the dominant approaches to achieving intensification has been through the integration of crop and livestock production. Sung Kyu Kim’s PhD thesis examined the dynamics of crop-livestock integration as a sustainable intensification strategy by and for smallholder farmers, and this project builds on his research.


With funding for a Fellowship from the ESRC, Dr Kim has been using the 'knowledge systems approach,' spearheaded by SPRU to unpack the interconnections between different actors and institutional processes that shape outcomes for sustainable development in East Africa.

The main findings of Dr Kim’s PhD thesis demonstrated that the lack of connection between the long-standing policy objective of agricultural intensification and modernisation agenda of the Government and the rural realities faced by Rwandan farmers, critically undermined the alternative smallholder production systems and their potential development pathways.

The current government’s policy agenda raises the question about how the knowledge production of the green revolution for Africa is framed, driven, exchanged and ultimately negotiated by state and non-state actors in the formal and informal sectors.

As part of the project activities, stakeholder consultation and discussions with the representatives from farmers’ organisations in Rwanda will help to understand better the various ways in which agricultural transformation unfolds for different types of smallholder farmers, and to propose potential ways to make policy objectives of the intensification of small-scale farming systems more inclusive in Rwanda.

Impact and outreach

The project concerns improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Rwanda. Improving the lives of the farmers and increasing the country’s food security is at the core of the government and development partners’ mandate for economic growth and poverty reduction agenda. This research will have a strong appeal to policymakers at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda as well as development practitioners working in livestock-based development programmes.

Further information

  • Sung Kyu Kim, Research Fellow, Science Policy Research Unit

In collaboration with:

  • Juvenal Musine, Programme Officer, Imbaraga Farmers Organisation
  • Nathan Kanuma Taremwa, Lecturer and Research Fellow, College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine University of Rwanda