Foreign Direct Investments in Africa's Farmlands: Threat or Opportunity for Local Populations?
Laval University - Département d'Économique
Principal Economist - African Development Bank
African Development Bank
January 24, 2012
CIRPEE Working Paper No. 12-03
We study the welfare effects of government-backed FDIs in Africa’s farmlands. We build an occupational choice model featuring four mechanisms driving these effects. First, local farming is subject to social arrangements prescribing that farmers share their crop surplus with kin. Second, proceeds from land investment deals are invested to make modern inputs affordable to local farmers. Third, these deals cause some farmers to shift to wage employment. Fourth, they also entrench export-oriented agriculture, at the expense of local markets. We show that three conditions are sufficient for such deals to make local people better off: (i) the state has a high capacity and willingness to negotiate deals that benefit local people; (ii) these deals create enough jobs; (iii) wage employment make displaced farmers better off. Fulfilling these three conditions, however, may conflict with the interests of profit-maximizing foreign investors.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: FDIs in farmland, local populations, welfare
JEL Classification: O13, Q15, Q24, Q28working papers series
Date posted: January 26, 2012
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