Conference Agenda

03-12: Can large farms attract local growth?
Tuesday, 26/Mar/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Derick Bowen, Millennium Challenge Corporation, United States of America
Location: MC C1-200


How and why large-scale agricultural investments induce diverse trajectories of regional development in Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique

Markus Giger1, Christoph Oberlack1, Ward Anseeuw2, Camilla Adele3, Magalie Bourblanc4, Perrine Burnod5, Sandra Eckert1, Wega Fitawek3, Eve Fouilleux6, Sheryl L Hendriks3, Boniface Kiteme7, Sara Mercandalli4, Aurelien Reys6, Maya da Silva3, Michael Van Der Laan3, Julie Zaehringer1, Peter Messerli1

1Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland; 2CIRAD / International Land Coalition; 3University of Pretoria; 4CIRAD / University of Pretoria; 5CIRAD / Observatoire du foncier Madagascar; 6CIRAD, France; 7CETRAD, Kenya

If a consensus emerges regarding the necessity of additional investment into agriculture, it is less evident whether large-scale agricultural investments (LAI) are a vector for broader agrarian and socio-economic transformations in a sustainable manner.

Against this backdrop, this paper presents the results of a study aiming, on one hand, at assessing the changes and impacts of LAIs at various (individual, household, regional) levels within target regions, and on the other hand, at a nuanced account of how and why LAIs subsequently induce diverse regional development trajectories in these regions. We focus on LAIs in Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique. Specifically, this study provides a cross-national comparative analysis of business models, land-use changes, governance dynamics of LAIs and their socio-economic, food security, and environmental impacts in Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique.


Investing in land versus land use: analyzing investment decisions by transnational forestry and agriculture companies

Dilini Abeygunawardane1, Patrick Meyfroidt1,2, Angela Kronenburg García1

1Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium; 2F.R.S.- FNRS, Brussels, Belgium

Our work in Southern and Eastern Africa aims at understanding investor decisions in shaping the emergence of new commodity frontiers and the different trajectories of land use change that may result from these decisions. Based on our findings, we derived two key approaches to choosing land for agricultural investments. One approach (‘crop-to-land’) was to choose a land that suited a specific crop or an agricultural “project” that had been identified already. The other approach (‘land-to-crop’) was to choose a land that was suitable for agriculture in general, and then identify a crop or a set of crops that would suit the land. The two approaches show noticeable differences in the types of investors involved, decision rationales, types of crops grown and land area acquired and developed. These differences are also reflected in the broader land use patterns and its implications for the land and its people, and warrants further investigation.


Large-scale land aggregation for transforming and scaling up African agriculture

Maria Marealle

African Development Bank, Côte d'Ivoire

Untapped agricultural potential in Africa has contributed to persistent poverty and deteriorating food security, resulting in a projected increase in the number of undernourished people. Population growth and urbanization increase food demand and changing consumption habits that lead to rapidly rising net food imports. Access to land and land rights in both rural and urban areas remain major challenges that hinders agriculture productivity across the continent. The main question is whether large scale land acquisition by public and private sector facilitates access to land and fast-track agriculture productivity. The implementation of the AfDB’s Feed Africa Strategy for Agricultural Transformation that ensures productivity and alleviates poverty requires land that is accessed and secured equitably. The paper argues that large scale land acquisition can immediately resolve food insecurity and poverty. Nevertheless, appropriate land policies and regulation for large scale acquisition are necessary to ensure access to land and Land rights are provided.