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Land for Agricultural Development in the Era of 'Land Grabbing': A Spatial Exploration of the 'Marginal Lands' Narrative in Contemporary Ethiopia

"In response to concerns over the potential of land leases for new agricultural projects to displace rural populations and impact food security, the Ethiopian government asserts that only ‘marginal’, ‘barren’ or ‘wasteland’ is being leased to inve...

An Investigation of the Political Economy of Land Grabs in Malawi: The Case of Kasinthula Cane Growers Limited (KCGL)

"This study aims to understand the nature of land grabs in Malawi and their implications on food security. It employs a political economy theoretical framework in the quest to establish different underlying interests held by different actors and h...

Narratives of Scarcity: Understanding the 'Global Resource Grab'

"Global resource scarcity has become a central policy concern, with predictions of rising populations, natural resource depletion and hunger. Resulting narratives of scarcity drive behaviour and justify actions to harness resources considered ‘und...

Large-scale Commercial Agriculture in Africa: Lessons from the Past

"African agriculture is in a phase of rapid commercialisation. Planners and investors in sub-Saharan Africa urgently need to consider how the choice of business model, the local context and the political environment affect outcomes of co...

Inclusive Business Models in Agriculture? Learning From Smallholder Cane Growers in Mozambique

"Amidst the increasing corporate investment in African farmland the term ‘inclusive business model’ has become a catchphrase touted as an opportunity for incorporating smallholder farmers alongside large-scale commercial farming projects. Inclus...

Dynamics of Decline in Small-scale Sugarcane Production in South Africa: Evidence from Two 'Rural' Wards in the Umfolozi Region

"Using evidence from two rural wards in the Umfolozi region, this paper critically investigates the dynamics and constraints of small-scale sugarcane production under conditions of decline. The rapid decline in small-scale sugarcane production was...

The Role of the State and Foreign Capital in Agricultural Commercialisation: The Case of Sugarcane Outgrowers in Kilombero district, Tanzania

The main research question is: what effect has privatisation of Kilombero Sugar Company had on its operations and surrounding communities? The paper contributes to the debate on large-scale land acquisition and agricultural commercialisation in s...

Changes in South Africa's Global Agricultural Trade Regime, 1996-2013

The paper begins by analysing the changes in the total export and total import values to and from the trading partners identified above, and the changing shares of total value held by each partner. The next section focuses on the major products tr...

Forgotten by the Highway: Globalisation, Adverse Incorporation and Chronic Poverty in a Commercial Farming District

An analysis of the livelihoods of the off-farm poor in Ceres has highlighted several key issues and redressed some important imbalances. In the first place, it has shown up the importance of going beyond narrow money-metric approaches and rathe...

The Rise and Decline of Small-Scale Sugarcane Production in South Africa A Historical Perspective

"South Africa’s sugar industry has long been distinguished by its large number of small-scale sugarcane growers (SSGs) farming on ‘communal’ land and its peculiar, privately administered regulatory structure. In recent years, however, the number o...

Elite Land Grabbing in Namibian Communal Areas and its Impact on Subsistence Farmers' Livelihoods

"Large scale land acquisitions by foreign investors in Africa for agricultural purposes continue to capture attention worldwide. In recent years Namibia has received some proposals from multi-national agricultural corporations to develop large sca...

Commons Governance in Southern Africa

"This Policy Brief is based on synthetic studies undertaken by participants in the Cross Sectoral Commons Governance in Southern Africa (CROSCOG) project between 2007 and 2009. The objective of the project was to share existing research and exper...

Joint Ventures

"South Africa's land reform programme is based on the state providing grants to landless people who negotiate with white landowners to purchase land. The high price of land, among other factors, has led to the emergence of joint ventures. In thes...

Land Use and Rural Livelihoods: Have they been Enhanced through Land Reform?

"It is often assumed that transferring land to rural households will provide people with valuable assets that can be productively used to enhance their livelihoods. Unfortunately, few rural people or land reform beneficiaries are perceived to be ...

Rights without Illusions: The Potential and Limits of Rights-based Approaches to Securing Land Tenure in Rural South Africa

"This paper focuses only on tenure reform and its aims to secure the land rights of: farm workers and farm dwellers living on privately-owned land, and residents of the former 'reserves' or Bantustans, now known as communal areas. Summarising the...

Evaluating Land and Agrarian Reform in South Africa: Support for Agricultural Development

"In South Africa, land reform has to be more than securing land rights and transferring a certain number of hectares to black people. Broadly speaking, it has to take into account the uneven spatial development patterns created under colonial and...

Social Reproduction, Accumulation and Class Differentiation: Small-scale Sugarcane Growers in Mtubatuba, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

"This paper argues that the rise and decline of small-scale sugarcane grower (SSG) production in KwaZulu-Natal must be historically located within a changing structural relationship with miller-processors, in turn conditioned by shifts in regulato...

Commercialisation, Deagrarianisation and the Accumulation/Reproduction Dynamic: Massive Maize Production Schemes in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

"The post-apartheid era has seen the South African government trying to reverse ‘deagrarianisation’ in the former homelands by introducing ‘modern’ farming techniques and agribusiness principles. This paper situates the massive maize schemes curr...

The Case for Re-Strategising Spending Priorities to Support Small-Scale Farmers in South Africa

"This paper summarises what is known about South Africa’s public expenditure trends in respect of small-scale farmers, and discusses the growing contradictions between the policy priority placed on small-scale farming and the adequacy of support p...

People-Centred Environmental Management and Municipal Commonage in the Nama Karoo

"The effective management of municipal commonage can contribute to land reform, food security, local economic development and sustainable natural resource use. Commonage land is, in many towns, the only natural resource available to poor communiti...

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