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Utrecht University (2020)

The impact of private horticultural investments on the food security of the non-participating locals : zooming in on the rural area of Debre Zeit, Ethiopia

Muminovic, A.

Titre : The impact of private horticultural investments on the food security of the non-participating locals : zooming in on the rural area of Debre Zeit, Ethiopia

Auteur : Muminovic, A.

Université de soutenance : Utrecht University

Grade : Master 2020

Résumé
Ethiopia is one of many African countries that welcomes private horticultural investments in rural areas. The reason behind this is the development strategy of the Ethiopian government to offer food security at the national and local level by increasing productivity through labor-intensive agriculture. When looking at changes at the macro level, export-oriented agricultural products do not jeopardize the availability of food on the domestic market. At the micro level, the population has better access to food, because income has increased and purchasing power also. These conclusions are based on people engaged in the agricultural sector, and local consumers. However, it remains unclear how these investments affect the livelihood of the non-participating rural locals. The purpose of this study is to investigate what kind of resource utilization changes a private company triggers and how these changes affect the food security of the locals who are not participating in the business. The study was conducted in a village nearby the city Debre Zeit, called Dalota village. The results of the research showed that the resource utilization change that took place in the study area regards land. Smallholders gave parcels of agricultural land up to investors in return for compensation. The consequence of this is that villagers lost crop and graze land, which caused a loss in agricultural productivity and a decline in their food supply. The main way in the village to compromise land loss is by participating in the informal land market as demander. Unfortunately, farming on informally transacted land brings the farmer a lower production than before. Furthermore, the companies’ agricultural practices cause soil degradation on surrounding parcels of land on which villagers farm, which poses risks on the capacity of the land to produce. Food insecurity is the result for the rural locals who are not involved in the investment.

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