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Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 213; doi:10.3390/su8030213

How Sustainable Is Transnational Farmland Acquisition in Ethiopia? Lessons Learned from the Benishangul-Gumuz Region

1
Department of Geography, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
2
Department of Management, Mekelle University, P.O. Box 451, Mekelle, Ethiopia
3
Centre for Environmental Sciences, Hasselt University, Agoralaan Building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
4
Economics and Rural Development, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, B-4000 Liège, Belgium
5
Department of Land Resources Management and Environmental Protection, Mekelle University, P.O. Box 231, Mekelle, Ethiopia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jens Newig
Received: 20 November 2015 / Revised: 30 January 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 29 February 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1414 KB, uploaded 29 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

Due to the nature of available land as one of the main attractions for investment, land lease marketing in Sub-Saharan Africa is appearing on policy agenda. This paper describes critical land-related institutional and governmental frameworks that have shaped the contemporary land governance and land lease contracts in Ethiopia. It also examines the effectiveness of the land lease process regarding economic, social, and environmental expectations from agricultural outsourcing. Both qualitative and quantitative data analyses were used and results showed that the size of the land cultivated by investors is significantly lower than the agreed-upon size in the contract. Besides, the supply of land to large-scale commercial investors in Ethiopia is made without adequate land use planning, land valuation, and risk analysis. Furthermore, limitations in monitoring systems have contributed to meager socio-economic gains and led to deforestation. Accordingly, the study concludes that supplying vast tracts of farmland to large-scale agricultural investors requires integrated land use planning, land valuation and governance, monitoring systems, and a capacity to implement the various social and environmental laws in coordination with other sectors. Improving rural infrastructure, particularly road, is also indispensable to enhance the level of performance of commercial farms. Last but most importantly, the customary land holding rights of residents should be respected and institutionally recognized. View Full-Text
Keywords: land grabbing; sustainable agriculture; food security; sustainable development; land lease land grabbing; sustainable agriculture; food security; sustainable development; land lease
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Teklemariam, D.; Azadi, H.; Nyssen, J.; Haile, M.; Witlox, F. How Sustainable Is Transnational Farmland Acquisition in Ethiopia? Lessons Learned from the Benishangul-Gumuz Region. Sustainability 2016, 8, 213.

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