Biennial report 2016-2017
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Besides research and postgraduate teaching, PLAAS undertakes training, provides advisory, facilitation and evaluation services and is active in the field of national policy development. Through these activities, and by seeking to apply the tools of critical scholarship to questions of policy and practice, we seek to develop new knowledge and fresh approaches to the transformation of society in Southern Africa. Our mission emphasises the central importance of the agro-food system in creating and perpetuating poverty — and also in eradicating it. For much of our existence, our work has concentrated heavily on issues of production in these systems. But our focus is broadening to consider crucial issues in land governance, agricultural production, tenure insecurity, the informal economy and social policy. Within this broad field of investigation, our work focuses on the dynamics of marginalised livelihoods — particularly livelihoods which are vulnerable, structurally excluded or incorporated into broader economic systems on adverse terms. In this respect, we have considerable expertise in analysing land- and agriculture-based livelihoods of farm workers; small and subsistence farmers; those pertaining to coastal and inland artisanal fisheries and fishing communities; and the informally self-employed in rural as well as urban areas.