AFGROLAND integrated research seeks to link agro-food-energy nexus in order to improve the understanding of how changes in the global agro–food–energy system affect countries in Africa. The project investigates the economic, social and environmental impacts of changes in land use patterns driven by global development trends.

CETRAD hosts the Second workshop of African Food, Agriculture and Land Use Change (AFGROLAND) project workshop in Nanyuki, after having held the first workshop in September 2015, at the Sportsman’s’ Arms Hotel in Nanyuki. The workshop attracted about 15 researchers and scientists (10 females and 5 males), from four countries (Kenya, South Africa, Switzerland, France and Madagascar). The AFGROLAND project will run from March 2015 to 1st March 2018, aims to improve the understanding of how changes in the global agro-food-energy system affect countries in Africa, with a focus on the economic, social and environmental impacts of changes in land use patterns driven by global development trends.

The project is organized in work packages (WP), where WP1 will examine the drivers of change and governance, with the focus on analyzing the changes and global policy trends interactions, and how these affect the changing patterns of investment in Africa; WP2 will investigate the investment and production models that are being developed in the context of local food systems; WP3 will investigate land use as shaped by the production models, and its impacts on natural resources and soil related ecosystem services ; while WP4 will examine how different forms of land based investments and agricultural production models will impact on food security at local and national levels. WP5 will sum up synthesis, recommendation and dissemination within all the WPs, with the aim to highlight the key outcomes and recommendations that can help reshape agriculture and land use.

The workshop combined the formal proceedings in the workshop sessions, plenary and field excursions that helped cement and fine tune the objectives and study sites of the project.

Field Trips

The first field work of the project in Kenya was an overview survey of large scale agricultural investments in the North West and South West Mt. Kenya region. The aim of the overview survey was to establish a complete list of large agricultural investments with basic characteristics in the study area, Laikipia. The outcome of the survey is meant to help in the preliminary assessment of the farms and ranches in the study region in Kenya which serves to organize further research activities.

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The survey focused on agricultural/livestock production investments and large-scale flower farms which are generally land based and purely involved in processing and market-oriented activities. In addition, the investments are involved in entrepreneurial management and have an accounting system.

CETRAD’s 1996 and 2013 databases of large scale farms, comprising of 116 farms and ranches constituted our sampling frame. The selection criteria for the 116 farms and ranches involved all the farms that had been established after year 2003, as these would represent the most recent changes that would be of importance to the study on land use change. Therefore, following additional consultations, it was agreed that data be collected from 43 large scale farms, after two of the farms were noted to have been out of the scope of the survey.

However, after the project’s second workshop, it was agreed that farms and ranches that had been established earlier to be also incorporated to make the results for this survey more robust. The farms and ranches that were established earlier and are within the study area comprised of 16 farms and ranches.

Project Financiers

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Agence Nationale de la Recherché, France.
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National Research Foundation, South Africa.
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Swiss National Science Foundation, Switzerland.

Partners

The project comprises of inter-disciplinary partners that has a mix of scholars and practitioners, policy makers, decision makers, geographers and anthropologists, has her partners emanating from the following institutions:

  • CIRAD – French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, France

  • CDE- Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Switzerland

  • University of Pretoria, South Africa

  • Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASALs Development – CETRAD, Kenya

  • Malagasy land Observatory - Madagascar

  • ILC- International Land Coalition

  • NEPAD Business Foundation

Next steps - Way Forward

The survey focused on agricultural/livestock production investments and large-scale flower farms which are generally land based and purely involved in processing and market-oriented activities. In addition, the investments are involved in entrepreneurial management and have an accounting system.

The project is structured in 5 work packages: