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African Food, Agriculture, Land and Natural Resource Dynamics, in the context of global agro-food-energy system changes

Applicant Messerli Peter
Number 160405
Funding scheme FACCE Joint Programming Initiative
Research institution Zentrum für Entwicklung und Umwelt Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.02.2015 - 31.03.2019
Approved amount 478'188.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Social geography and ecology
Pedology
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences

Keywords (7)

Land Use Patterns; Production Models; Food Security through Production and Employment; Global Agro-Food-Energy System Changes; National/Global Governance; Natural Resource Management; Land investments

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Situation des globalen Ernährungssystems hat dazu geführt, dass vermehrt Investitionen im Landwirtschaftssektor getätigt werden. Vor dem Hintergrund des globalen Landwirtschaft-Ernährung-Energie-Systems untersucht das Forschungsteam von Peter Messerli zusammen mit Forschungspartnern aus Frankreich und Südafrika, ob aufgrund von politischen Veränderungen in der Schweiz und der EU in Afrika grundlegende Änderungen in der Nutzung natürlicher Ressourcen, der Struktur der landwirtschaftlichen Produktion und der Governance des landwirtschaftlichen Sektors festzustellen sind.
Lay summary
Über die Hälfte der seit dem Jahre 2000 getätigten transnationalen Landkäufe erfolgten in Afrika. Anhand von drei Ländern – Mosambik, Kenia und Madagaskar – sucht das Forschungsteam nach den Hauptfaktoren für den Wandel des Landwirtschaft-Ernährung-Energie-Systems, mit einem spezifischen Fokus auf der Rolle der EU und der Schweiz. Es analysiert die Veränderungen der politischen Trends in der EU und CH und deren Auswirkungen auf Afrika in den Bereichen "neue Landinvestitionsmodelle“, "ökologische Folgen“ und "Einwirkung auf ländliche Haushalte und die Ernährungssituation“. Die Untersuchung der Investitionsmodelle wird Typologien von Investitionen aufzeigen und darlegen, wie sie die lokale Landwirtschaftsproduktion und die lokalen Wertschöpfungsketten strukturieren. Erfasst werden die Folgen der veränderten Landnutzungs- und Produktionsmodelle auf die Landnutzung und das Management beziehungsweise die Governance der natürlichen Ressourcen. Das Forschungsteam ermittelt einen ökologischen Fussabdruck, der Vergleiche verschiedener Investitionsschemata auf unterschiedlichen räumlichen Skalen erlaubt. Untersucht wird auch, welchen Einfluss die Investitions- und Produktionsmodelle auf die Ernährungssicherheit auf lokaler und nationaler Ebene haben. Die Ergebnisse der verschiedenen Untersuchungen werden zu einer Synthese gebündelt und daraus Empfehlungen abgeleitet.
Durch interdisziplinäre Zusammenarbeit von Natur- und Sozialwissenschaftern schafft das Projekt langfristig nutzbares, empirisches Wissen zum Phänomen der Landinvestitionen Dank praxisorientierter Forschung können die Ergebnisse direkt in die Arbeit von politischen Entscheidungsträgern und Praktikern einfliessen.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.07.2015

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
La situation du système alimentaire mondial a conduit à investir davantage dans le secteur agricole. Sur fond de systèmes énergétique, alimentaire et agricole mondialisés, l’équipe de Peter Messerli, en collaboration avec des chercheurs de France et d'Afrique du Sud, analyse si se sont établies, en Afrique, de par des changements politiques en Suisse et dans l'UE, des modifications profondes dans l’utilisation des ressources, la structure de la production agricole et la gouvernance du secteur agricole.
Lay summary
Plus de la moitié des achats de terres transnationaux conclus depuis 2000 se sont opérés en Afrique. L’équipe de Peter Messerli a sélectionné trois pays (le Mozambique, le Kenya et Madagascar) afin d’étudier les facteurs principaux du changement dans les systèmes d’agriculture, d’alimentation et d’énergie, en se focalisant particulièrement sur le rôle de l’UE et de la Suisse dans cette transformation. Les changements des tendances politiques dans l'UE et en Suisse et leurs répercutions, en Afrique, sur "les nouveaux modèles d'investissement", "les conséquences écologiques" et "les effets sur les ménages ruraux et la situation alimentaire" sont analysés. L’analyse des modèles d’investissement fournit des typologies d'investissements et éclaire la façon dont celles-ci structurent la production agricole et les chaînes de valeur locales. Les impacts des différents modèles d’utilisation des sols et de production sur l’utilisation des sols et le management, ou plus précisément sur la gouvernance des ressources naturelles, sont appréhendés. Il en résulte une empreinte écologique permettant la comparaison de plusieurs schémas d’investissement sur différentes échelles spatiales. L'influence des modèles d’investissement et de production sur la sécurité alimentaire au niveau local et national est également étudiée. Une fois synthétisés, les résultats des différentes analyses doivent permettre de formuler des recommandations.
À travers un travail collectif interdisciplinaire réunissant biologistes et sociologues, ce projet de coopération fournit de plus amples connaissances au sujet du phénomène d'accaparement des terres. Grâce à une recherche orientée vers la pratique, les résultats peuvent directement être intégrés aux usages des décideurs politiques et des praticiens.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.07.2015

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
The situation in the global food supply system has led to increased investments on land in the agricultural sector. Taking the global agro-food-energy system as a starting point, Peter Messerli’s research team is joined by research partners from France, Italy and South Africa in assessing if a systemic change can be observed in natural resources uses, the structure of agricultural production, and the governance of the agricultural sector in Africa.
Lay summary
Six of the ten top target countries of international land deals are in Africa. Based on work in three countries – Mozambique, Kenya and Madagascar – the research team is looking for the main factors for the shift in the global agro-food-energy system with a specific focus on the role of the EU and Switzerland. It is analyzing the feedback effects between this shift and the global political trends with the change in investment patters, resource use and food production.

The examination of the investment models will show typologies of investments and illustrate how they are structuring local agricultural production and local value chains. The team recorded the effects of changed land use and production models on land use and management as well as the governance of natural resources. This results in a kind of “footprint” that allows comparisons of different investment patterns at different spatial scales. The team is also investigating what influence the investment and production models have on food security at the local and national level. The results of the various examinations will be bundled into a synthesis from which recommendations will be inferred.
By means of interdisciplinary cooperation of natural and social sciences, the research project consortium produces long-term empirical knowledge on the “land grabbing” phenomenon. Thanks to practical research, the results can be directly applied to the work of political decision makers.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.07.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Large-scale agricultural investments trigger direct and indirect land use change: New evidence from the Nacala corridor, Mozambique
Zaehringer Julie G., Atumane Ali, Berger Sibylle, Eckert Sandra (2018), Large-scale agricultural investments trigger direct and indirect land use change: New evidence from the Nacala corridor, Mozambique, in Journal of Land Use Science, 1-19.
How do large-scale agricultural investments affect land use and the environment on the western slopes of Mount Kenya? Empirical evidence based on small-scale farmers' perceptions and remote sensing
Zaehringer Julie G., Wambugu Grace, Kiteme Boniface, Eckert Sandra (2018), How do large-scale agricultural investments affect land use and the environment on the western slopes of Mount Kenya? Empirical evidence based on small-scale farmers' perceptions and remote sensing, in Journal of Environmental Management, 213, 79-89.
Agricultural Expansion and Intensification in the Foothills of Mount Kenya: A Landscape Perspective
Eckert Sandra, Kiteme Boniface, Njuguna Evanson, Zaehringer Julie (2017), Agricultural Expansion and Intensification in the Foothills of Mount Kenya: A Landscape Perspective, in Remote Sensing, 9(8), 784-784.
International Land Deals for Agriculture. Fresh insights from the Land Matrix: Analytical Report II.
Kerstin Nolte, Wytske Chamberlain, Markus Giger (2016), International Land Deals for Agriculture. Fresh insights from the Land Matrix: Analytical Report II., Bern Open Publishing, Bern.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
GIUB University of Bern (ATLAS Project) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
NEPAD Business Foundation South Africa (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
University of Pretoria South Africa (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr Perrine Burnod, Observatoire Foncier Madagascar (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development) France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Global Land Project - Open Science Meeting (a global research programme) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr Boniface Kiteme, CETRAD Kenya (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
OSM Global Land Programme Individual talk How national and local contexts shape the impacts of foreign investment in land: a comparative analysis from three African countries 23.04.2019 Bern, Switzerland Eckert Sandra; Zähringer Julie Gwendolin; Giger Markus; Messerli Peter;
Land and Poverty Conference 2019 Talk given at a conference How national and local contexts shape the impacts of foreign investment in land: a comparative analysis from three African countries 26.03.2019 Washington DC, United States of America Messerli Peter; Eckert Sandra; Giger Markus;
Swiss Researching Africa Days 2018 Talk given at a conference Environmental Impacts of Large Agricultural Investments – a comparative analysis from Kenya, Mozambique and Madagascar. 26.10.2018 Bern, Switzerland Zähringer Julie Gwendolin; Giger Markus; Messerli Peter; Eckert Sandra;
Land and Poverty Conference 2018 Talk given at a conference Impacts of Large Agricultural Investments-a comparative analysis from three African countries. In Land and Poverty Conference 2018 27.03.2018 Washington DC, United States of America Eckert Sandra; Giger Markus; Messerli Peter;
International Conference on Research for Development (ICRD) Talk given at a conference How national and local contexts shape the impacts of foreign investment in land: a comparative analysis from three African countries 05.09.2017 Bern, Switzerland Giger Markus; Zähringer Julie Gwendolin; Eckert Sandra; Messerli Peter;
ESA Living Planet Symposium Talk given at a conference Large- and small-scale cropland classification on the foothills of Mount Kenya based on SPOT-5 Take 5 data time series 09.03.2017 Prag, Czech Republic Eckert Sandra;
Third Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Project Talk given at a conference African Food, Agriculture, Land and Natural Resource Dynamics in the Context of Global Change 24.10.2016 Peking, China Messerli Peter; Eckert Sandra; Zähringer Julie Gwendolin; Giger Markus;
Annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation Talk given at a conference Globalized drivers of land use change on tropical forest frontiers: the concept of ‘telecoupling’ and its operationalization in land system science 19.06.2016 Montpellier, France Messerli Peter; Zähringer Julie Gwendolin;
IASC Regional European Meeting, Bern, Switzerland Talk given at a conference Using evidence from the Land Matrix and other data repositories to investigate impacts of large-scale land investments on common-pool resources. Reference was made to Afgroland in the discussion 10.05.2016 Bern, Switzerland Messerli Peter; Giger Markus;
Anthropology Research Seminar Individual talk The Land Matrix Database: Towards more equitable decision-making on Large-Scale Land Acquisitions. Reference was made to Afgroland in the discussion 12.04.2016 Bern, Switzerland Giger Markus;
Interdisciplinary Workshop „Large-Scale Land Acquisitions between Resource Conflicts and Sustainable Rural Development Talk given at a conference Large Scale land based Investments: Afgroland Project (oral communication) 17.11.2015 Freiburg, Germany Messerli Peter; Giger Markus;
3rd programme conference of the National Research Programme (NRP) 68 Poster African Food, Agriculture, Land and Natural Resource Dynamics in the Context of Global Changes (AFGROLAND) 12.11.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Messerli Peter;
Summer School of the fifth Global Environments Summer Academy on Socio-ecological Interactions in a Dynamic World Talk given at a conference Rural transformation in the global South: competing claims, investments, and governance challenges 07.08.2015 Bern, Switzerland Messerli Peter;
ETHZ, World Food System Centre - Tackling World Food System Challenges: Across Disciplines, Sectors, and Scales Talk given at a conference Producing food in contested rural landscapes: challenges and opportunities for land system science 22.06.2015 Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland Messerli Peter;
Seminar Entwicklungszusammenarbeit FS 2015 Universität Freiburg Talk given at a conference Globaler Wandel und verschärfte Landkonflikte: Welche Rolle für die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit? 01.05.2015 Fribourg, Switzerland Messerli Peter;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Land and Poverty Conference World Bank. Workshop 26.03.2019 Washington, United States of America Giger Markus;
Landkäufe im Süden – Landgrabbing oder ein Beitrag zur Entwicklung? Talk 26.11.2015 Bern, Seminar Muristalden, Switzerland Giger Markus;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Stakeholder Workshop in Nairobi (administration, academia, donors) 17.09.2015 Nairobi, Kenya

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Agrarland zieht bei Investoren Die Grüne German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Commercial Horticulture in Kenya: Adapting to Water Scarcity (Policy Brief CDE) International 2016
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Afgroland Poster and Leaflet International 2015
Other activities Afgroland Website International 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
161905 Archetypes of transnational land acquisitions: towards a generalization of case study knowledge for informed soil governance (ATLAS) 01.01.2016 NRP 68 Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource

Abstract

The multiple food-energy-climate-finance crisis (Margulis, 2013) and the present changes in globalfood systems (Reardon et al., 2009) have led governments and private investors to reinvest inagriculture (HLPE, 2011; Anseeuw et al., 2012). These dynamics are the object of extensivescientific analyses (World Bank, 2010; White et al., 2012). However, such assessments tend toremain local, in the form of specific case-studies, without broader contextualization (Fairhead etal., 2012). Taking the global agro-food-energy system changes as a departing point, this researchproject aims at assessing if, beyond the specific evidence of individual cases of agriculturalinvestment, a systemic change can be observed in natural resources uses and management (landand water), in the structuration of agricultural production (evolution of farms, value-chain, foodsecurity) and, more generally, in the governance of the agricultural and rural sectors. Thecontinent of Africa is of specific interest regarding these emerging dynamics: Out of the 10 toptarget countries of international land deals, 6 are located in Africa (Land Matrix, 2014).Based on strong empirical work in three African countries (Mozambique, Kenya and Madagascar -selected as they experience extensive new agro-land-resource investment models, including fromthe countries involved in the research consortium, with potential upstream/downstream NR stakes)five inter-related work packages (WP) will be developed:WP1 Drivers of change and governance (lead: UP): As cross-cutting WP focusing both on globaland national levels, WP1 will feed and be fueled by the other WPs. WP1 will map out the keydrivers of change in the global agro-food-energy systems, with a particular emphasis on the role ofEU/Switzerland. It will analyze how these changes and global policy trends shape and are shapedby changing patterns of investment (WP2), resource use (WP3) and food production (WP4) inAfrica.WP2 Investment and production models (lead: CIRAD): WP2 focuses specifically on theagricultural production and investment models being developed and their evolutionary dynamicswithin a broader context of local food systems. This package will produce typologies of investmentmodels, their extent and how they structure local agricultural production and value-chains.WP3 Land use, natural resources and soil related ecosystem services (lead: CDE): Quantitativeassessments of land use, impact on natural resource management and governance (land, waterand soil), and soil related ecosystem services provision, related to the new land usages andproduction models. It will provide, at local level, a “footprint” that will be linked to spatial datasets,allowing comparison of various investment schemes at different spatial scales. ”WP4 Food security (FS) (lead: UP): WP4 will assess how the different forms of land basedinvestments and agricultural production models, and their related governance processes, impactFS at local and national level. Through empirical surveys of FS dynamics, this WP will deal withimpacts on both local production of and access to food.WP5 Synthesis, Recommendations and Dissemination (Lead: CDE): WP5 ensures theconsistency of the transdisciplinary approach of the project and manages the disseminationstrategy. It will provide avenues for wider debate, engage with key stakeholders and disseminatethe results using attractive formats (online and in-person consultations, policy briefs, community ofpractice, series of workshops).Scientific quality and innovativeness of the goals and objectives: This project brings together themost relevant natural and social sciences to build longer-term and more contextualised empiricalknowledge on what is often and generically described as the “land rush” phenomenon, with a focuson the interlinks between governance shifts, agrarian changes, local food systems and value-chaintransformations, as well as land resource management dynamics and related effects on ecosystemservices. Based on the expertise of the various participants, it will combine qualitative analyses andquantitative research in a multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional and multi-scale approach.The project emphasizes user engagement and societal/broader impacts:-Based on applied research, the results will be directly useable by policy makers/practitioners(scenario modeling of land, water and soil management, dynamic maps).-The project will be implemented in a participatory manner, with local research partners:Pro-Parcerias (Mozambique), Malagasy Land Observatory (Madagascar), CETRAD (Kenya).-Through the International Land Coalition (ILC), the research consortium includes broad-basedmulti-stakeholder associations leading to direct uptake of the research results. It is also linked toopen data initiatives (Land Matrix) and multi-stakeholder workshops are planned.-Links with decision-makers will facilitate direct uptake of the results. The project will beimplemented in close collaboration with the NEPAD Business Foundation, and will develop linkswith NEPAD’s Rural Futures think-tank and the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) of the AfricanUnion/UNECA/AfDB.The expected impacts are:-Assessment of land and water use changes and of the pressure on related ecosystem services willlead to better environmental management.-Policy recommendations that will impact economic aspects such as land use, NR management,FS, agricultural production and investment, employment addressing both investor and host countrypolicy levels.-Societal impacts through better consideration of FS, equity and sustainable development, andinclusive business models, as well as their governance.The international research team is inter-disciplinary in nature, gathering high quality academics,scholars and practitioners/policy-makers. It includes natural scientists, socio-economists,agricultural economists, political scientists, anthropologists, geographers, from well-renowninstitutions (two European and one African). All have a track record of expertise/publications in thefields included in the project. This core team will engage local partners throughout the project,leading to enhanced capacity transfer, uptake of results and policy dialogue. The consortium isestablished to promote a well-balanced cooperation with regards inputs and benefits, from anacademic/stakeholder as well as from a geographic point of view.The resources and funding requested are complementing initiatives, engaged in independently bythe collaborating partners. Several team members already work together (e.g. Land Matrix - CDE,Cirad; water management - Cirad, UP, etc.); this project will reinforce structurally links betweenthese teams, enabling synergies.The project team and their institutional support services have strong project and budgetarymanagement capacities and have long standing expertise in research project management.
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