LANDac PhD researcher Maru Shete has published in co-authorship with Dr. Marcel Rutten of the African Studies Centre a new article based on his PhD research in Oromia Region, Ethiopia. The new publication in Land Use Policy looks at the impacts of large-scale farming on local communities’ food security and income levels.
This article investigates the impact of large-scale agricultural investment on household incomes and food security in Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia. It considers an agricultural investment project that has leased an area of about 12,000 ha for 45 years and was operational from 2008 to 2012. Primary data were collected from 300 households selected using systematic random sampling techniques from communities that had lost access to the de facto customarily owned grazing and farmland as a result of the project and a control sample that was not affected by the investment. Data were analyzed using the propensity scores matching technique. Our results in Bako show that in situations of long-standing competing claims to land resources and relatively high population densities, putting land into large-scale farming reduces local communities’ food-security status and results in a loss of income among local people. Before leasing out farmlands for large-scale farming, local people’s previous livelihood patterns and their de facto customary property rights should be taken into consideration.