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Institute For Land and Agrarian Studies Scholarships

Our institute was founded in 1995 (initially called ‘Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies’) as a specialist unit in the School of Government, in the Economic and Management Sciences Faculty, at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town. The main purpose of the Programme was to undertake policy-oriented research to support the newly elected government in implementing its land reform policies. PLAAS does research, policy engagement, teaching and training about the dynamics of chronic poverty and structural inequality in Southern Africa, with a particular emphasis on the key role of restructuring and contesting land holding and agro-food systems in the subcontinent and beyond. 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 the upstream and downstream aspects of agro-food commodity chains and systems. Key aspects of social policy affecting the dynamics of poverty and inequality in southern and South Africa are also being taken up in our work.

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