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Large-Scale Land Acquisitions and Gender in Africa: The Impact of Institutional Change and Land Investments on Gender Relations and Food Security

English title Large-Scale Land Acquisitions and Gender in Africa: The Impact of Institutional Change and Land Investments on Gender Relations and Food Security
Applicant Haller Tobias
Number 152773
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Sozialanthropologie Philosophisch-historische Fakultät Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Ethnology
Start/End 01.10.2014 - 31.12.2018
Approved amount 814'680.00
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Keywords (5)

Africa; Food security; Institutions; Large Scale Land Acquisition (LSLA); Gender relations

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Grossflächiger Erwerb von Land durch Agrar- und Energiekonzerne werden heute kontrovers diskutiert. Insbesondere in Afrika werden die positiven Auswirkungen von solchen Investitionen hinterfragt. Vergleichende Fallstudien und eine Untersuchung der durch Landerwerb veränderten Geschlechterbeziehungen und der damit zusammenhängenden Ernährungssicherung fehlen jedoch.
Lay summary

Die Diskussion um „Landgrabbing“ dreht sich um die Frage, ob solche Investitionen durch Agrarkonzerne die rurale Entwicklung fördern oder eher hemmen. Während involvierte Konzerne die Vorteile der Investitionen hervorheben, unterstreichen kritische Stimmen die Nachteile der Investitionen. Diese Nachteile beziehen sich auf den Verlust des Zugangs zu Land und Ressourcen sowie auf die Umweltschäden, die die Ernährungssicherung reduzieren. Dabei sind Landrechte in afrikanischen Kontexten von zentraler Bedeutung. Diese befinden sich in den Händen von Regierungen, wobei Nutzung sowie Zugang dezentral über männliche Eliten geregelt werden. Dies steht im Gegensatz zu lokal-definierten Zugangsformen, in denen Land und Ressourcen im Kollektiv verwaltet wurden und auch Frauen Zugänge über Verwandtschaftssysteme boten. Die neuen privatrechtlichen Grossinvestitionen in Land verändern diese Zugänge und beeinflussen die Sphären der Subsistenzproduktion und die Ernährungssicherung.

 

Das Projekt verfolgt das Ziel, in vier vergleichenden Fallstudien in Afrika (Marokko, Ghana, Tansania und Sambia) Grossinvestitionen auf ihre Rolle bei der Veränderung der Geschlechterbeziehungen und der Ernährungssicherung zu untersuchen. Mittels sozialanthropologischen und geographischen qualitativen Forschungsmethoden werden die Auswirkungen von Landinvestitionen auf die Geschlechterbeziehungen erforscht.

Das Projekt soll die Lücke in der Forschung von veränderten Landrechts- und Investitionsbedingungen in Afrika und die damit zusammenhängenden Geschlechterbeziehungen schliessen. Insbesondere fehlen Fallstudien, die lokale Sichtweisen der Geschlechter thematisieren. Ebenso fehlt der theoretische Einbezug des neoinstitutionellen Ansatzes, der die Ausgestaltung von Institutionen beim Zugang zu Ressourcen unter asymmetrischen Machtbeziehungen und legitimationsstiftende  Ideologie thematisieren. Die Forschung verspricht vergleichende qualitative Ergebnisse für spätere quantitative Forschung. 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.08.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Land Grabbing, the State and Chiefs: The Politics of Extending Commercial Agriculture in Ghana
LanzKristina, GerberJean-David, HallerTobias (2018), Land Grabbing, the State and Chiefs: The Politics of Extending Commercial Agriculture in Ghana, in Development and Change, 1-27.
Who gains from contract farming? Dependencies, power relations, and institutional change.
AdamsTimothy, GerberJean-David, AmackerMichelle, HallerTobias (2018), Who gains from contract farming? Dependencies, power relations, and institutional change., in Journal of Peasant Studies, 1-23.
Gender, land and agricultural development in Africa.
LanzKristina (2016), Gender, land and agricultural development in Africa., LEGEND Evidence , Land Portal.
The Great African Land Grab: Agricultural investments and the global food system (Book Rieview)
LanzKristina (2014), The Great African Land Grab: Agricultural investments and the global food system (Book Rieview), in African Affairs , 113(415), 314-316.
"They said they were bringing a development project." "Best-practice" large-scale land acquisition or commons-grabbing in Ghana's Volta Region."
Lanz Kristin, "They said they were bringing a development project." "Best-practice" large-scale land acquisition or commons-grabbing in Ghana's Volta Region.", in Haller Tobias, Rohr Christian, de Moor Tine, Breu Thomas, Znoj Heinzpeter (ed.), Routledge, London.
Are Green Energy Investments levelled by the ‘New Commons’? Compensations, CSR Measures and Gendered Impacts of a Solar Energy Project in Morocco
Ryser Sarah, Are Green Energy Investments levelled by the ‘New Commons’? Compensations, CSR Measures and Gendered Impacts of a Solar Energy Project in Morocco, Routledge, London.
Grabbing the Female Commons: Large‐Scale Land Acquisitions for forest plantations and impacts on gender relations in Kilolo district, Iringa Region, Tanzania
GmürDésirée, Grabbing the Female Commons: Large‐Scale Land Acquisitions for forest plantations and impacts on gender relations in Kilolo district, Iringa Region, Tanzania, in Rohr Christian, de Moor Tine, Breu Thomas, Haller Tobias, Znoj Heinzpeter (ed.), Routledge, London.
Large-Scale Land Acquisition as Commons Grabbing: A comparative analysis of six African case studies
HallerTobias, AdamsTimothy, GmürDésirée, KäserFabian, LanzKristina, MarfurtFranziska, RyserSarah, SchubigerElisabeth, vonSuryAnna, GerberJean-David, Large-Scale Land Acquisition as Commons Grabbing: A comparative analysis of six African case studies, Reimer, Berlin.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Geschlechterforschung der Universität Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Sonja Merten, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
16th Swiss Geoscience Meeting: Habitable Planet Talk given at a conference Large-scale Land Investment, Institutional Change and Gender Relations in Africa: The Case of Sugarcane Outgrower Contract farming in Malawi 01.12.2018 Bern, Switzerland Adams Timothy;
5th edition of the Swiss Researching Africa Days Conference, Bern Talk given at a conference Environmental justice and land management practices in Africa: The Malawian case of land use change and sugarcane production 26.10.2018 Bern, Switzerland Adams Timothy;
Global Environmental Justice Conference 'Transformative Connections', at University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK (session organized) Talk given at a conference The relevance of telecoupling to environmental justice research: conceptual, empirical and transformative perspectives" for the Environmental 03.07.2018 Norwich, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Adams Timothy;
4th Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Programme (GLP 4th OSM 2019) conference on Transforming Land Systems for people and Nature Talk given at a conference Assessing governance outcomes in IBMs from the perspective of Environmental Justice: A comparative case study of IBMs in sugarcane production in Malawi 25.04.2018 Bern, Switzerland Adams Timothy;
The National Gender Conference, Lilongwe, Malawi Talk given at a conference Building a Strong National Gender Machinery with Strengthened Partnerships 01.12.2017 Lilongwe, Malawi Adams Timothy;
ICRD Conference, Berne Talk given at a conference "Empowering women through large-scale land acquisitions? A case study of a LSLA in Ghana's Volta Region" 06.09.2017 Bern, Switzerland Lanz Kristina;
The new commons and LSLA in Africa, IASC Utrecht Talk given at a conference CSR as new commons? Insights from large-scale land acquisitions in Ghana and Malawi 11.07.2017 Utrecht, Netherlands Lanz Kristina; Adams Timothy;
The New Commons and LSLA in Africa, IASC Utrecht Talk given at a conference Transformation of commons and the emergence of ‘new commons’: Government Land-deal as a Catalytic Converter for Social Development? The case of a solar energy project in Morocco 11.07.2017 Utrecht, Netherlands Ryser Sarah;
The New Commons and LSLA in Africa, IASC Utrecht Talk given at a conference Panel:New commons and resilience: Do CSR schemes compensate for "commons grabbing"? 11.07.2017 Utrecht, Netherlands Gerber Jean-David; Haller Tobias;
The New Commons and LSLA in Africa, IASC Utrecht Talk given at a conference Not a resilient deal: Large-scale land acquisions (LSLA) for forest plantations and gender in Kilolo district, Iringa, region Tanzania 11.07.2017 Utrecht, Netherlands Gmür Désirée Ruth;
LSLA and Gender in Africa, ECAS Basel Talk given at a conference Panel: Creative commons destruction?” - Large-scale investments, new commons, and distributive institutions 29.06.2017 Basel, Switzerland Haller Tobias; Gerber Jean-David;
LSLA and Gender in Africa, ECAS Basel 2017 Talk given at a conference Large-scale land acquisions (LSLA) for forest plantations and gender in Kilolo district, Iringa (Tanzania) as a gendered unbalanced deal. 29.06.2017 Basel, Switzerland Gmür Désirée Ruth;
Panel: LSLA and Gender in Africa, ECAS 2017 Talk given at a conference New Commons, new dependencies. Insights from two LSLA's in Ghana and Malawi 29.06.2017 Basel, Switzerland Adams Timothy; Lanz Kristina;
LSLA and Gender in Africa ECAS Basel Talk given at a conference Moroccan regeneration: Government land-deal as a catalytic converter for neo-liberal and state driven social development 29.06.2017 Basel, Switzerland Ryser Sarah;
4th edition of the Swiss Researching Africa Days Conference, Bern Talk given at a conference A paradox of development legitimacy: Between neoliberal globalism and local needs in smallholder sugar cane production in Malawi 05.11.2016 Bern, Switzerland Adams Timothy;
4th Swiss Researching Africa Days 2016, Bern Talk given at a conference Government land deal as a catalytic converter for neo-liberal and state driven social development in Marocco 05.11.2016 Bern, Switzerland Ryser Sarah;
Common pool resource institutions in the shadow of the State in Moroccan: Government land deal as a catalytic converter for social development Talk given at a conference IASC European Conference. Commons in a "Glocal" World: Global Reactions and Local Responses 11.05.2016 Bern, Switzerland Ryser Sarah;
IASC European Regional Conference: Commons in a "Glocal" World. Global Connections and Local Responses Talk given at a conference The mechanisms of dependencies in Large-scale Land acquisitions for Sugarcane production: The Case of Malawi 11.05.2016 Bern, Switzerland Adams Timothy;
IASC European Regional Conference. Commons in a "Glocal" World. Global Connections and Local Responses Talk given at a conference An unbalanced deal: Large-scale land acquistions (LSLA) for forest plantations and gender in Kilolo district, Iringa, region Tanzania 10.05.2016 Bern, Switzerland Gmür Désirée Ruth;
PGCC Gender Seminar Series, Geneva Talk given at a conference Empowering women through large-scale land acquisitions? A case study from Ghana 25.02.2016 Geneva, Switzerland Lanz Kristina;
Challenges to social inclusion in Morocco Talk given at a conference Inclusive Education, Youth between inclusion and exclusion, Gender and Social inclusion 05.12.2015 Rabat, Morocco Ryser Sarah;
New Research on Women's Land Rights Talk given at a conference When 'best practice' is not good enough: How gendered power relations shape the implementation of LSLA in Ghana 27.11.2014 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Lanz Kristina;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Wold Commons Week: Blog action on LSLA as commons and resilience grabbing, 4-12.10.2018 homepage International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), homepage ISA, Uni Bern International 2018

Abstract

This research project aims to shed light on a notorious black box in the work on Large Scale Land Acquisitions (LSLA) and gender studies: it looks comparatively at gender relations and their changes under the new wave of LSLA, that follow after previous institutional changes in land tenure and access in Africa. The project includes cases of Northern (Morocco), Western (Ghana), Eastern (Tanzania) and Central Africa (Rwanda). These cases also reflect similarities as well as differences among LSLA configurations as the project discusses cases of direct external investments with and without direct labour involvement of local people (two cases with no involvement, two cases with workers or contract farmers). In addition, we focus on the food status of households in the project areas trying to find answers on the impact LSLA’s have on food security. A mixed methods approach will be used, with a strong focus on qualitative methodology from social anthropology.The project is based on collaboration between the Institute of Social Anthropology and Institute of Geography, University of Bern (Profs. Tobias Haller and Jean-David Gerber) and The Swiss Tropical Public Health Institute in Basel (Dr. Sonja Merten) and the Centre for Gender Studies (Prof. Brigitte Schnegg).Despite the fact that the importance of looking closely at gender relations has been highlighted since the issue of „Land Grabbing“ became important in academia and for NGOs (i.e. Behrmann 2011), there are very few case studies on the issue. In early 2013 FAO published technical guidelines for gender equity in the context of LSLA that aimed to illustrate principles for gender equal participation and communication in land related issues. It highlighted that the focus needs to go beyond narrow gender issues and that governance and institutional issues, including legal state and customary issues (i.e. access and inheritance), need to be analysed. Interestingly however, most studies do not contextualize gender power relations and institutional change enough in this context. This is the gab this research project tries to fill. It shall show first how LSLA impacts existing power constellations governing access to land, including to so-called common pool resources. Second, it also discusses the impacts of LSLA on gender shaped labour division issues and related distributional effects regarding food security.
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