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Food systems change, livelihoods and food security under large agricultural investments in Kenya and Mozambique

Venue: PLAAS Boardroom
Date: 13 Mar 2018
Time: 13:00 to 14:00

Presenter: Koen Dekeyser, PhD Student at the University of Pretoria

Joint PLAAS - GovInn Seminar

This presentation compares food systems under large agricultural investments, including land grabs or dispossessions, in Kenya and Mozambique. The objective is to understand the effects these investments have on the food systems, livelihoods and food security of its immediate communities. Data was collected through in-depth interviews and more than 1,000 household surveys in North-Mozambique (Gurué, Ruacé, Monapo) and Kenya (Laikipia County). Communities were selected around investments and compared with communities without investments (control). The results indicate that investment areas have differences in their food systems at production and distribution levels, including food environments, but these changes are less reflected in diets. Self-production is higher in control areas, as market-purchases expand in investment areas. More ultra-processed food enters investment areas through longer and more complex supply chains, indicating a deepened integration in the global markets on both the supply and demand side. Livelihood options expand under investments, except where land dispossession takes place. Land dispossessions impact the households’ food security negatively and increase conflict. The changes through large agricultural investments take place against a backdrop of wider food systems changes driven by pressures of population growth, urbanisation, and climate change. Although large agricultural investments might be a minor factor in these structural transformations, it can be the main driver of food systems change in the areas in which it operates.