Book: The governance of large-scale farmland investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. A comparative analysis of challenges for sustainability.
By George Schoneveld
Growing global resource scarcities and increasingly unstable commodity markets have in recent years propelled large numbers of investors to seek access to the cheap and fertile farmlands of sub-Saharan Africa. Though potentially providing its often neglected agricultural sector with much-needed investment capital, with many of these investments threatening to deprive the rural poor of vital livelihood resources and contribute to environment degradation, these investments have become a topic of heated debate in the public, political, and academic arenas.
Amidst a rapidly growing body of research on particularly trends and outcomes, The Governance of Large-Scale Farmland Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa examines a critically under researched aspect of this trend, namely, host country governance. With an absence of sufficiently comprehensive international regulatory frameworks, the investment governance burden often falls solely on host country governments, which in the African context are typically ill-equipped or disinclined to provide adequate oversight. This exacerbates the risk of adverse local social, economic, and environmental impacts and undermines the effective capture of investments’ potential developmental contributions.
The primary aim of this book is to advance the understanding of the regulatory conditions under which large-scale farmland investments can contribute to sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. It does this by explaining why the local outcomes of most farmland investment have to date been so similar. In so doing, this book examines and links a range of issues that to date have often been evaluated in isolation – ranging from laws and policies in host countries to institutional dynamics and local community responses. The analysis is based on original field research conducted by the author in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Zambia.
George C. Schoneveld is a Scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Nairobi, Kenya. This book was produced as part of his PhD under the LANDac programme, one of the Academies for International Cooperation sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and hosted by the Utrecht University.
This publication can be ordered here.