Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
06-12: New Approaches to Large Scale Land Acquisition
Wednesday, 22/Mar/2017:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Hafiz Mirza, UNCTAD, Switzerland
Location: MC 9-100

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ID: 981 / 06-12: 2
Invited Paper

The intricacies of large scale agricultural investment in Gambella Region, Ethiopia

Azeb Degife

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany

Ethiopian government use agricultural investment as the most important and effective strategies for economic growth, food security and poverty reduction in the country. Since the mid-2000s, government has awarded millions hectares of fertile land to rich countries. This study explores the impact of large scale agriculture investment and its consequences to local livelihoods in Gambella region, Ethiopia. Gambella people’s survival and their identity are strongly tied to the land and the rivers that run through it. However, currently foreign and local investors grab the farm area on an industrial scale and that deprives their livelihoods and increasing food insecurity. Moreover, large land acquisition has been tremendous environmental devastation in region like forest has been cleared and burnt, wetland drained and people are largely dependent on international food aid and financial assistance. Further, it leads to displacement of smallholder farmers, loss of grazing land for pastoralists, loss of incomes and livelihoods for the peoples. Lastly, due to lack of good governance and transparency in the region, the natural resources are depleted and societies became food insecure. Therefore, Ethiopian government strategies are on the verge of falling unless integrated approach is not implemented.

Key words: agricultural investment, livelihoods, food insecurity, integrated approach


ID: 279 / 06-12: 5
Individual Papers
Oral Presentation
Topics: Securing land rights for equity, sustainability and resilience
Keywords: Macroeconomic, Implication, Smallhoder, Women, Land Access

Understanding the Implication of Macroeconomic Growth on Smallholder Farmer, Landless, Landpoor and Women's livelihood and Land Rights in Lower Mekong Basin Region

Kaneka Keo1, Daniel Lindgren2

1Oxfam America, Cambodia; 2Rapid Asia Co.,Ltd

Rapid economic expansion has led to an increase in demand for agricultural land, creating land tenure insecurity for the small-scale farmers. It also leads to negatively affected, as key industrial sector and other development project. Land grabbing, or the acquisition of land by the individual and cooperate investors or government is become a major threat to small scale famer and put their food security at risk “Why have smallholders been ignored or regularly stigmatized as old-fashioned, resistant of innovation, inefficient, and a barrier to modernization?” They contribute to the production of about 50% of the world’s food, which quells hunger in developing countries. In addition small-scale farmers in Lower Mekong Basin Countries also face challenges on several other fronts. In rural areas, involuntarily imposed landlessness is one of the main drivers of poverty. Considering this context, this paper aims to identify the characteristic and implications of economic growth’s effect on small-scale farmers, women farmers and landless in access to land and other resources in order to help understand and investigate the underlying issues of growth and its distribution in those LMB countries and analyzes How to minimize the negative impact of current policies and practices on smallholders ‘wellbeing and livelihood.


ID: 712 / 06-12: 6
Individual Papers
Oral Presentation
Topics: Academic research on land governance / rigorous impact evaluations
Keywords: Large-scale land acquisitions, land governance, land policy reforms, constitutional reforms, local communities, commercial agriculture.

Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Kenya: Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Kenya: The Yala Swamp Case Study of Kenya’s Land Governance System and Actual Practices

Odenda Lumumba


This paper examines large-scale land acquisitions in Kenya by looking at the case of the Dominion Farms Limited takeover of Yala Swamp. The case study illustrates actual practices of Kenya’s land governance system in terms of how large-scale land acquisitions take shape and their results on the ground. The phenomenon in Kenya as elsewhere in Africa is not new except the scale and scope has been exacerbated by the increased demand for large-scale land acquisitions for production of food, bio-fuels and extractive industry raw materials since 2008 (Alden Wily, 2011; Anseeuw et al, 2012; Deininger, 2011; World Bank, 2010; Amanor, 2012). This paper seeks to use Dominion Farms Ltd, a project of an American investor to show how it forms the continuation of past practices. It explores whether or not the new land governance frameworks are able to regulate such investments to ensure that they address the implications such as loss of access by local communities to agricultural land and commons for grazing and fishing. The paper further explores changes that have taken place at Yala Swamp from 2003 to 2013 and assesses them against the backdrop of recent and emerging land governance regulatory frameworks at national, regional and global levels.


ID: 675 / 06-12: 7
Individual Papers
Oral Presentation
Topics: Academic research on land governance / rigorous impact evaluations
Keywords: Lineage, land deals, customary, governance, Benin

Smallholders and large –scale land acquisition in west Africa: the case of the management committees of customary land in Benin

Avohoueme Midjeou Beranger

LADYD, University of Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin

Rather than to defend that land investments is top-down phenomenon that facilitates African states, this article question the role of smallholders in land investments. The results show that many young illiterate or/scholars villagers sharing family relationships form some land management committees of their lineages. These committees functions as boards. They promote the land deals leasing whose areas range from 20 to 1,500 hectares in investors. The proliferation of large-scale land deals in the villages studied is motivated by the will of the family property management committees to control customary land. Three objectives underlying this desire to control: firstly, counter fraudulent land sales; secondly, create opportunities for rural development through land investments; and thirdly, to formalize boundaries of ‘stool land’ to avert potential future land litigations. In the villages, it exists connivance relationships between management organizations of "clans’ lands" and the other institutions involved in land regulation. From these complicities, offices of these management committees are able to easily circumvent the government measures of large-scale land investments restrictions in order to formalize the land deals for the benefit of investors.

06-12-Midjeou Beranger-675_paper.pdf

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