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Aug 28, 15

This PLAAS report presents case studies of large-scale land transactions in several Southern African countries. It pays particular attention to the opinions of local people, but – when possible – also takes into account the views of investors and local governmental authorities.

The study finds mixed results in regard to the impacts of large-scale land transactions for local communities. Case studies in Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe show that some of the more marginalized groups – youth and poorer households for example – have a positive perception of investment projects that promise to bring benefits such as employment. Conversely, farmers who are able to sustain themselves from their own cultivation and livestock saw the risks of losing their land. Furthermore, women are said to be often excluded from consultation and their roles in
producing food for their families are undermined. Older people also often want to retain their land.

The report highlights that more than often many community members are not against investment, which promises to bring employment and development. Rather, they criticize a lack of consultation that would allow for better benefit sharing and alignment with community priorities.

Aug 25, 15

This guide has been produced by the Interlaken Group, with steering support from RRI. It provides support to companies aiming to align their operations with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT).

Aug 06, 15

Root Capital is a non-profit organization providing lending to the "missing middle" of agricultural businesses. After 15 years supporting farming communities in Latin America and Africa, Root Capital shares its experience on gender-sensitive agricultural lending policies. The non-profit organization also proposes some guidelines in regards to gender-inclusive business models.

Aug 06, 15

Bioenergy investment is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa. Global production of liquid biofuels has more than quadrupled in the past decade, driven by renewable energy targets and biofuel blending requirements in the EU, the US and other markets. Sugarcane has drawn particular attention, as it is a commercially proven, tropical bioenergy crop with significant potential in much of the region.

Welcoming governments add to the appeal; foreign direct investment - a record 80 billion USD in 2014 - is crucial to African economies, and bioenergy is seen as a way to attract FDI, boost exports and drive rural development. From 2006 to 2011, bioethanol production in Africa nearly doubled, to 135 million litres - about 60% of it for export.

Agricultural-based bioenergy investments can bring large infusions of capital, infrastructure and technology into rural areas. In most of rural Africa, small-scale farming still predominates, and these projects are often the communities' first encounter with large-scale agro-industry. They can thus bring rapid changes, including new jobs, economic growth and development, but also put pressure on key livelihood resources.

This study examines the Makeni Project, developed by Addax Bioenergy Sierra Leone (ABSL), as a window into the complex dynamics of bioenergy and agricultural investment in sub-Saharan Africa. ABSL has said it wants the Makeni Project to be "a benchmark for sustainable investment in Africa", and it has secured funding from eight development finance institutions (DFIs). In 2013, the project was the first in Africa to be certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.

This report places the Makeni Project in the context of Sierra Leone's development challenges and strategies to address them. It looks at the project through the lens of "rural transformation" - the notion that eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development requires a transformation of rural spaces, economies and societies that empowers rural people.

Jul 30, 15

Jointly drafted by UNIDROIT, FAO and IFAD, this publication provides a legal analysis of contract farming arrangements, which are increasingly used worldwide for the production of agricultural products.

The Guide provides legal guidance based on internationally accepted standards of practice for agricultural producers and agri-businesses engaged in the processing, exportation and marketing of agricultural products. The Guide is a useful tool and reference point for a broad range of users involved in contract farming practice, policy design, legal research and capacity building. Above all, the Guide will contribute to the creation of a favourable, equitable and sustainable environment for contract farming.

Jul 30, 15

This guide discusses USAID's recommendations for best practices related to the due diligence and structuring of land-based investments, with the goal of reducing risks and facilitating responsible projects that benefit both the private sector and local communities. This guide is also designed to help companies identify practical steps to align their policies and actions with provisions of the VGGT, the International Finance Corporation's Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability (IFC PS), and other relevant instruments, including the United Nations' Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP).

Jul 30, 15

Ce document résume les résultats de diverses études de cas réalisées par la FAO concernant les impacts de l'investissement étranger direct sur les communautés et les pays hôtes. Les études suggèrent que les inconvénients des acquisitions de terres à grande échelle l'emportent souvent sur les quelques avantages procurés aux communautés locales.

Jul 30, 15

Le but de ce rapport est de décrire les défis, opportunités et déterminants de l'investissement étranger dans l'agriculture des pays en développement et de proposer des bonnes pratiques pour générer des bénéfices mutuels et en atténuer les risques. Le rapport aide à prendre conscience de l'importance de l'investissement agricole responsable et propose des options pour le promouvoir afin de contribuer à l'élimination de la faim et de la pauvreté.

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