Changes to the global agro-food-energy system (e.g. changing consumption patterns in the North (SNF, 2012), Europe’s Climate and biofuel policies, etc.) over the past few years have led to a renewed interest in agriculture and a rush to acquire land (Cotula, 2012; Anseeuw et al, 2013). The impact of this rush is not always evident as its assessments focus on the short-term and generally remain at a case study level, without considering the broader agrarian and socio-economic transformations it entails (Borras et al. 2012). Against this backdrop, the objective of the project is to analyse how global agro-food-energy system changes impact on the countries in the global South, namely in Africa, particulalrly with regard to sustainable land management, agricultural production and food security, socio-economic outcomes (such as employment and livelihoods), pressure on land and natural resources and, subsequently, the governance of the latter.
Based on extensive empirical research and spatial analysis, and by resituating this research within a multi-dimensional and multi-scale approach, the project will endeavor to
i) Identify the drivers of change within the global agro-food-energy systems, how they impact on, and in return are shaped by governance changes at the the regional, national and local levels (WP1);
ii) Better qualify the rush for land, by assessing and defining the different production and land-based investment models being developed (WP2),
iii) Quantify and analyze these changes in terms of land and natural resource use and governance (land, water and soil) and assess the effects on sustainable soil ecosystem service provision (WP3);
iv) Evaluate how such changes impact on food security (with a focus on the large enterprises and smallholders) and/or on food access (employment creation, sustainable livelihoods) at the local/national level (WP4),
v) Ensure cooperation across the key disciplines/WPs involved, as well as proactive dissemination strategies and a continous exchange with stakeholders in the policy, civil society and business communities (WP5).
Project website: http://www.afgroland.net/Pages/default.aspx