Small farmers can be linked to markets through traders, farmers’ organizations, agrifood processors, retailers, large hotels and supermarkets, or through formal contracts with large buyers under contract farming arrangements. Small farmers can also supply food to the public sector, for instance for schools and hospitals, under institutional procurement processes. However, the inclusive and business elements of these efforts can be competing forces. Trade-offs are sometimes necessary when a business model that is inclusive of small actors has to generate profits.
This report examines how agricultural investments in Lao People's Democratic Republic affect rural employment opportunities for women and men as well as their access to land. It also provides policy recommendations on key issues.
Paper prepared for presentation at the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2014.
The goal of this paper is therefore to examine large-scale land investments in Africa particularly in countries within the Congo Basin Forest of the Central African sub-region. The trends, threats and opportunities are reviewed using information on land acquisitions in Central Africa collated from diverse published sources. The paper recommends some practical considerations for the sub-region to accommodate land acquisition, building on the Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment that Respect Rights, Livelihoods and Resources.
How can remote communities with little formal education hold investors to account and seek redress when their rights to land and resources are threatened? An IIED webinar examined the role of grievance mechanisms.
Using econometric models, the authors find that large-scale land acquisitions may be beneficial for host countries, as 300–550 million people could be fed by crops grown in the acquired land, should these investments in agriculture improve crop production and close the yield gap. In contrast, about 190–370 million people could be supported by this land without closing of the yield gap. However, the authors insist that in order to feed more people, the food grown should benefit to host populations and not be primarily grown for export.
This Study discusses the human rights issues raised by large
scale land deals for
plantation agriculture in low and middle
income countries. It finds that important human rights dimensions are at stake, and that
compressions of human rights have been documented in some contexts.
Research on the benefits of women gaining secure rights to land and property suggest positive results: an increase in women’s participation in household decision-making; an increase in net household income; a reduction in domestic violence; an increased ability to prevent being infected by HIV/AIDS; and increased expenditures on food and education for children. Understanding the complexity surrounding women’s land rights is critical to ensuring that those rights are protected and improved.
Using a panel data set for about 70 countries, this paper jointly analyzes agri-investment trends and food security developments in vulnerable countries. This work empirically connects two mainly independent debates about impacts of agri-investments on food security and on the proposed responsible investment policy frameworks and its contribution to achieve food security. The results indicate the special relevance of private investments, domestic or foreign. The domestic situation in target countries in terms of governance is relevant: Good governance supports food security. The findings underline the importance of the recently developed responsible investments guidelines as they shall contribute that investments maintain their potential positive influence on economic development and food security
Francine Mukazi Picard (IISD) comments on the recently endorsed CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI). She believes that the CFS-RAI create a powerful normative framework for investment in food and agriculture.
The upswing in biofuel investments in Ghana led to large-scale land acquisitions by the private sector presided over by chiefs. This research investigates how chiefs, in playing their traditional roles in the acquisition of land and as arbitrators, were, in most instances, the cause and the solution to the ensuing conflicts in the various communities.
Consultation is widely recognized as an important aspect of fair land deals; however, in terms of tangible instructions, this aspect remains unspecific. We develop a framework for consultation in the case of land acquisitions and analyze proposals for consultation contained in voluntary guidelines and private governance instruments as well as de jure and—by way of three case studies—de facto consultative processes in Mali. We acknowledge that consultations take place in complicated settings of power relations that determine the aims of consultation.
The production of agrofuel crops is believed to be playing a decisive role in the so-called "land rush," the international scramble for arable land in developing and emerging countries. Reports of an alarming wave of land acquisitions due to "agrofuels Hype" initiated by agrofuel investors have made headlines in recent years. The potential merits and dangers of agrofuel production are the subject of heavy debate, with food-security concerns and environmental impacts fueling the controversy.
Recently, investors have once again shown rising interest in large-scale land acquisitions in Africa and Asia. Derek Byerlee argues that this trend does not reflect the long-term evolution towards smallholder domination. He analyses both long-term and short-term trends.
Cotula, L. 2013. Foreign investment, law and sustainable development: A handbook on agriculture and extractive industries. IIED
A very comprehensive paper on agricultural development policy, research and political discourse on the topic, covering the last four decades. The scholars also discuss how agricultural development policy could possibly be carried out today, taking into account consensual as well as non-consensual issues.
The papers analyse the different roles of public autorities in Ghana in regard to large-scale land deals. The authors conclude that more than often, local chiefs and Traditional Councils engage in rent capting behaviour, not respecting their role of stewards of customary lands, whereas decentralized governmental authorities are often too weak. Thus, despite a progressive and participatory legal and policy framework, dispossession occurs in Ghana.