'Land grab' as development strategy? The political economy of agricultural investment in Ethiopia

Tom Lavers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)
272 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper examines the domestic political economy of so-called 'land-grabbing' in Ethiopia, assessing the motivations of the Ethiopian government, which has strongly promoted foreign agricultural investment. The paper draws on a unique set of federal and regional databases detailing foreign and domestic investments in Ethiopia to analyse the likely role investment will play in the Ethiopian economy and the areas which have been targeted for investment. The analysis identifies increased foreign exchange earnings as the main likely contribution of investment but in doing so highlights concerns for food security in Ethiopia, as the goal of national self-sufficiency has given way to a risky trade-based food security strategy. The paper also argues that the federal government's attempts to direct investment to sparsely-populated lowlands have important implications for the ethnic self-determination that is a key tenet of Ethiopia's federal system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-132
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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