22-02-2018 19:35:59

Dialogue meeting: Foreign Agri-business in Sub Saharan Africa

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Arrangør: IDA Global Development

After decades of neglect, many Sub Saharan African countries find themselves in the paradoxical situation that they have plenty of fertile land but cannot feed their own population and therefore rely on import of food – sometimes even subsidized from OECD countries. They also rely on food assistance in times of crisis. Moreover, food insecurity is pervasive in many parts of rural Africa; many small scale and low productivity farmers face challenges in covering household consumption needs let alone producing sufficient food for the urban population.

Since mid-2000s Sub Saharan Africa has experienced an increasing interest in investments in agriculture by foreign agri-business and the private sector. While there is uncertainty about the magnitude of investments in Africa various studies estimate that over the last decade global foreign large scale land acquisitions for food and fuel production amount to a total of 20 – 40 million hectares.

Multiple factors such as development aid deficits, global food crisis and population growth are fuelling the interest for private sector investments in the agricultural sector with the purpose of creating jobs and food production. At the same time market dynamics including the promotion of biofuels as alternative energy source have created an international market for out sourcing food and fuel production to areas of the world where land is cheap and conceived off as abundant. As a result of this, various forms of investments in the agricultural sector are emerging supported by bilateral donors, multilateral institutions and private sector agro-business giants as well as NGOs.

This IDA Global Development Meeting focuses in on these trends by bringing in practitioners, investors and academia to discuss and exchange perspectives on key questions such as; are foreign private investments in agriculture contributing to economic development, food production and job creation? What impact does it have on rural livelihoods and food security? How can governments, development partners and the private sector support sustainable growth for food production and food security?

Programme

17.00: Welcome by IDA Global Development

17.00- 17.30: The contribution of Danish farmers & investors to food production in Africa. Challenges and opportunities. Case of Somawhe farm, Zambia by Count Peter Bernstorff.

17.30 – 18.00: International land acquisition in Africa by Professor Per Pinstrup-Andersen

18.00 – 18.30: Sandwhich

18.30 – 19.00: Impact of Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) agri business programme on rural livelihoods in Tanzania by Oliva Kinabo, Coordinator of CARE’s Land Programme

19.00 – 20.00: Discussion and networking

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