This Open seminar will facilitate an open discussion on the feasibility of the international Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments (RAI) based on a case study research of land investments in Ethiopia and the recently launched Swedish FAO Committee discussion paper “Responsible agricultural investment – how to make principles and guidelines effective”. The topic is highly relevant as the final negotiations of the RAI principles take place in the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in May. Two presentations will be held prior to an open discussion moderated by Maria Ölund, Project Coordinator of LARRI.
“Hurting or Helping?” – Research on agricultural investments in Ethiopia
Kassa T. Alemu is a PhD Candidate in Development Studies at UNISA/University of South Africa and a Lecturer in Development Management at the Ethiopian Civil Service University. He is currently a guest researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Sweden and is completing his PhD work “Hurting or Helping? International Land Deals and Agricultural Investment in Ethiopia.” In his presentation Alemu will provide an update on large-scale agricultural investment in Ethiopia. He will present findings from his research based on four cases of foreign investments and discuss how responsible these investments really are, how land deals are negotiated and implemented locally, and what type of impacts these investments have for local livelihoods and the environment.
Authors reflections on Swedish FAO Committee discussion paper
Kjell Havnevik is a senior researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute. He has a long experience from research, education, studies and evaluations related to aid, rural development and natural resource management. Havnevik is the author of the Swedish FAO Committee discussion paper “Responsible agricultural investment – how to make principles and guidelines effective”, launched at a seminar co-arranged by SIANI on the 25th of March.The report highlights three cases of large scale land investments, where investors or co-investors are of Swedish origin. Based on the conclusions of the report Havnevik suggest more concrete guidelines on how to implement the RAI principles in order to make a real difference for people on the ground.