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5 May 2020

Webinar about deagrarianization

What are the underlying reasons for deagrarization and how does it effect livelihoods, poverty reduction and climate change?

Photo: Klara Fischer

Photo: Klara Fischer

According to a recently released FAO report, food insecurity is increasing globally. An alarming reversal of a previously positive trend. Planting your own food might be an important adaptation strategy in the face of climate change. At the same time, across Africa, and in other parts of the world, people leave farming. This webinar unites researchers working on the broad theme of deagrarianisation across contexts in Africa and Europe. We will present and discuss research and build new networks – forging a better understanding of the reasons behind and the effects of deagrarianisation across contexts.

The recorded version of the webinar can be found here!

Moderator: Klara Fischer (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU).


Presentation: Professor Sheona Shackleton (the African Climate and Development Initiative, the University of Cape Town) has worked at the interface between rural development, livelihoods and natural resource use and management for the past 35 years. Her research has covered aspects of community conservation, rural livelihoods and vulnerability, ecosystem services and human well-being, forest product use and commercialisation and climate change adaptation. She has a strong interest in transdisciplinary research.

Presentation: Ildikó Asztalos Morell (Dept. of Urban and Rural Development, SLU) has interest in the study of transition societies with focus on rural transformation during state socialism and post socialism, intersectional aspects of rural marginalisation and poverty, Romani studies, migration and comparative gender research. She has published close to fifty articles and book chapters and has been the co-editor of several volumes.

Presentation: David Neves is a Research Associate and PhD candidate at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape, in South Africa.



Presentation: Flora Hajdu is an associate professor of Rural Development at SLU. She has conducted research on changing rural livelihoods in Southern and Eastern Africa as well as in Sweden for the past two decades. Her presentation will include recent data about drivers and consequences of livleihoods change in two rural South African villages.


Presentation: Paul Hebinck is a rural sociologist with experience in land and land related issues, land and agrarian reform, agriculture, rural development, rural livelihoods, re-agrarianisation and re-peasantisation and rural development. He carries out fieldwork for over 35 years in Luoland, West Kenya; Eastern Cape, South Africa; North East Zimbabwe; and more recently in Northern Namibia. He is an emeritus associate professor at Wageningen University and adjunct Professor at University of Fort Hare.

Presentation: Cecilia Waldenström (Dept. of Urban and Rural Development, SLU) has a background in agronomy and in the social sciences, especially education and rural sociology. My research has mainly been in agricultural extension and rural development in Sweden, predominantly as local development in sparsely populated areas, exploring learning processes, innovation and preconditions for the construction of knowledge. Partly, my research has been on agrarian change viewed from the perspective of farming households.

Presentation: Brian Kuns (Dept. of Urban and Rural Development, SLU) works on post-communist agrarian change in Eastern Europe. In particular he has studied the development of farms of different sizes and organizational structures in post-communist political-economic circumstances. This has entailed looking at some of the largest corporate farms in the world (active in Ukraine and Russia) and at small-scale household farms that manage to thrive in the shadow of the corporate giants. Brian has also sought to critically re-evaluate Soviet and pre-Soviet legacies in light of current day agrarian and environmental challenges in the region.


13:00-13:10  Introduction and Welcome- Klara Fischer

13:10-13:15 David Neves

13:15-13:20 Flora Hajdu

13:20-13:25 Paul Hebinck

13:25-13:30 Sheona Shackleton

13:30-14:00 Questions on the first four presentations

10 minutes break

14:10-14:15 Cecilia Waldenström

14:15-14:20 Ildikó Asztalos Morell

14:20-14:25 Brian Kuns

14:25-14:45 Questions to the three last presenters

10 minutes break

14:55-15:30 Panel discussion- similarities and differences across contexts

15:30-15:40 wrap up and goodbye



From 5 May 2020 at 13:00 to 5 May 2020 at 15:40



Hosted by

Klara Fischer (
Alin Kadfak (


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