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Large-scale land acquisition in Africa affects farmers’ ability to produce their own food

In order to avoid water conflicts and to stimulate food production in sub-Saharan Africa, large-scale land acquisition should be regulated and focus on food production. These are the conclusions of a new doctoral thesis from Lund University in Sweden.
landgrabbing

Emma Johansson’s thesis investigates how land use is affected by large-scale land acquisition, also referred to as land grabbing, mainly in Tanzania. The land is often acquired by international companies that purchase or rent large areas. The majority of cultivated land is used for forestry, but also for biofuel production; the most common crops are palm oil and sugarcane. Meanwhile, a large proportion of the food consumed in sub-Saharan Africa is imported.

“The focus must be on food, and technological solutions that are based on local needs and circumstances. The companies should cultivate crops that are edible, and use methods that consume less water. The villagers must also have the opportunity to participate, otherwise those in greatest need of development are disadvantaged”, says Emma Johansson, graduate in Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, and an associated researcher at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies.

Read more in a news article at Lund University 8 November 2018: Large-scale land acquisition in Africa affects farmers’ ability to produce their own food

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