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.
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