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Follow the Food – Dutch agribusiness and local food security in Africa

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Project description

There is considerable foreign investments in African food production for world markets. This may serve global food security, but can have negative consequences when external agribusiness displace local smallholders without alternative income sources. This study investigates which different business models manage to achieve inclusive growth in Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana.

Aim: There is considerable foreign investments in African food production for world markets. This may serve global food security, but can have negative consequences when external agribusiness displace local smallholders without alternative income sources. The aim of this study is to investigate which different business models manage to achieve inclusive growth in Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana.

Objective: The overall objective of this project is to enhance food security in Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya through targeted advice for (Dutch) agribusiness investors, policy makers and other stakeholders in the three countries on the possible impact pathways from global agribusiness investments to local food security, and the risks and opportunities involved. The knowledge objective is to assess the effects of private agribusiness investments in African agriculture on local food security.

Method: The challenge of doubling global food supplies to feed a projected 9 billion people by 2050 has triggered a strong influx of foreign investments in African agribusiness. However, it is unclear how these investments in global food supply affect food security at the local level in recipient countries. This project assesses these effects by using a value chain approach to compare investments in different business models engaged in the production of a variety of food crops along the local – export market continuum. It will generate in-depth and comparative knowledge on the global-local nexus of different foreign-induced business models, their level of inclusiveness and how and to what extent they can contribute to local food security. This will be done by comparing a variety of Dutch investment cases in Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana.

Kick-off meetings will identify clusters of Dutch agro-investment from which a selection is made of 1 or 2 companies per crop that have started in the last 5 years or so (staged cluster sampling). These companies will be analyzed in terms of linkages, value chain dynamics, business strategies and CSR performance. In each cluster, some 50 production workers (employees, smallholders) are selected by random sampling for a survey of changes resulting from the investment projects – consumption patterns, crop changes, food access etc. By bringing quantitative and GIS mapping data together on an online platform (e.g. Akvo), researchers will be able to compare data from the three regions and countries directly. Particularly the postdoc researcher will enhance a generalized analysis of the three countries and different crops, allowing generalization on the links between foreign investments and food security in Africa.

Countries: Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya.

Dutch policy goal: Inclusive business models for food security.

Duration: October 1, 2015 – October 14, 2019

 

 

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