Africa’s Changing Farmland Ownership: The Rise of the Emergent Investor Farmer

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February 17, 2016 - Author: Thomas S. Jayne, Jordan Chamberlin, Lulama Traub, Nicholas Sitko, , Felix K. Yeboah, Chewe Nkonde, Ward Anseeuw, Antony Chapoto, and Richard Kachule

Thomas S. Jayne, Jordan Chamberlin, Lulama Traub, Nicholas Sitko, Milu Muyanga, Felix K. Yeboah, Chewe Nkonde, Ward Anseeuw, Antony Chapoto, and Richard Kachule. 2016. Africa’s Changing Farmland Ownership: The Rise of the Emergent Investor Farmer. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Paper 15. East Lansing: Michigan State University

PAPER HIGHLIGHTS
• The fastest growing segment of the family farm sector in sub-Saharan Africa is medium-scale farms. Such enterprises now control more land than large-scale farms in all countries examined. Under de facto land policies, this group will continue to grow rapidly. The amount of remaining surplus farmland is rapidly dwindling in most countries in the region.
• With the rise of relative large investor farms in certain areas, Africa’s farmland ownership structures and the degree of land inequality are becoming more heterogeneous across space.
• Conceptually, we need to reintroduce the concept of agrarian structure as an important field for agricultural economics research, to better understand how evolving land distribution patterns are affecting the relationship between agricultural growth and poverty reduction in Africa.
• Control for farmland is increasingly in the hands of urban-based investors. The implications of this for rural and non-rural growth are not clear in many respects, although this probably will further reduce the impacts of agricultural growth on localized spillovers in the rural non-farm economy and on rural poverty reduction.
• The current institutional systems and methodological approaches for collection of data on SSA’s farm sectors are systematically missing the most dynamic portion of this sector: the emergent farmers. Redressing this will require new kinds of sampling and data collection methods. Correcting this informational blind spot is critical for assessing what is happening in the agricultural sectors, and why, as well as the viability of alternative smallholder-based development strategies.

 

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Tags: c4a, fsg research paper, fsp research paper, land


Authors

Thomas Jayne

Thomas Jayne
517-432-9802
jayne@msu.edu

Milu Muyanga

Milu Muyanga
muyangam@msu.edu

Felix Kwame Yeboah

Felix Kwame Yeboah
517-355-0337
yeboahfe@msu.edu


For more information visit:

Food Security Group
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy

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