Ecology and Society Ecology and Society
E&S Home > Vol. 26, Iss. 4 > Art. 18 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Why do large-scale agricultural investments induce different socio-economic, food security, and environmental impacts? Evidence from Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique

Christoph Oberlack, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland; Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland
Markus Giger, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland
Ward Anseeuw, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), France; International Land Coalition (ILC), Rome, Italy
Camilla Adelle, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), France; Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Magalie Bourblanc, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), France; Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development and the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Perrine Burnod, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), France; Malagasy Land Observatory, Madagascar
Sandra Eckert, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland; Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland
Wegayehu Fitawek, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development and the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Eve Fouilleux, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), France; UMR LISIS (University of Paris-Est Marne la Valle), France
Sheryl L Hendriks, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development and the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Boniface Kiteme, Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development (CETRAD), Nanyuki, Kenya
Livhuwani Masola, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development and the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Zaka Diana Mawoko, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development and the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Sara Mercandalli, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), France
Aurélien Reys, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), France
Maya da Silva, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Michael van der Laan, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Julie G Zaehringer, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland; Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland
Peter Messerli, Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland; Wyss Academy for Nature, University of Bern, Switzerland

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-12653-260418

Full Text: HTML   
Download Citation


Abstract

Large-scale agricultural investments (LAIs) transform land use systems worldwide. There is, however, limited understanding about how the common global drivers of land use change induce different forms of agricultural investment and produce different impacts on the ground. This article provides a cross-country comparative analysis of how differences in business models, land use changes, and governance systems explain differences in socio-economic, food security, and environmental impacts of LAIs in Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique. It brings together results on these aspects generated in the AFGROLAND project that collected data in a multi-method approach via household surveys, business model surveys, semi-structured household interviews, life-cycle assessments of farm production, analysis of remote-sensing data, key informant interviews, and document analysis. For the present project synthesis, we combined a collaborative expert workshop with a comparative analysis of 16 LAIs. The results show that the LAIs follow four distinctive impact patterns, ranging from widespread adverse impacts to moderate impacts. Results demonstrate how the following conditions influence how the global drivers of land use change translate into different LAIs and different impacts on the ground: labor intensity, prior land use, utilization of land, farm size, type of production, experience in local agriculture, land tenure security, accountability of state and local elites, the mobilization capacity of civil society, expansion of resource frontiers, agricultural intensification, and indirect land use change. The results indicate that commercial agriculture can be a component in sustainable development strategies under certain conditions, but that these strategies will fail without substantial, sustained increases in the economic viability and inclusiveness of smallholder agriculture, land tenure security, agro-ecological land management, and support for broader patterns of endogenous agrarian transformation.

Key words

agricultural investments; business models; environment; food security; governance; land use change; livelihoods

Copyright © 2021 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Top
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087