Although crop and livestock agriculture is certainly the most important factor in rural livelihoods, agriculture is not synonymous with rural livelihoods, which encompass a far wider variety of livelihood strategies. Yet the belief that virtually all rural people strive (and should strive) to become own-account farmers continues to permeate much agricultural rehabilitation policy and programming. Transcending this belief requires more detailed livelihoods analysis in order to understand the complexity of how rural people ‘hustle’ to survive. Agricultural production is surprisingly resilient in the face of conflict, and it is essential to step back and reassess the basic assumptions about how conflict impacts on agricultural production, consumption and markets. Two particular sets of challenges exist in understanding the impact of conflict on agriculture: the first surrounds understanding shifts in livelihood activities and strategies, and the second in identifying and understanding market shifts in conflict and post-conflict settings.