Smallholders’ Narratives of Land Conflict – In the Context of Large-Scale Investments

Start date: 5 April, 2016 End date: 18 May, 2016 Project type: Master's Thesis (prior to 2018) Project code: A29480 Countries: Tanzania Institutions: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Faculty of Social Sciences, Denmark University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology, Denmark Grant recipient: Eva Juliane Buchhave and Cecilie Bro Tellefsen Total grant: 40,000 DKK

Description

Abstract:

Attracting large-scale investment is an integral part of Tanzania’s current land development policies, of which the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) is the latest initiative. This study questions the SAGCOT initiative for its assumption that allocating land for investments is a technocratic exercise that only entails surveying where land is available. We conducted fieldwork to collect qualitative data on smallholders’ perceptions of land conflicts in areas neighbouring large-scale investments. Our findings illustrated that property rights regimes are particular to the place in which they are practiced. Therefore, allocating land for investments is a complex task that requires insights into the land’s social and cultural importance. Otherwise, land conflicts are likely to occur, which could potentially become a hindrance for the policies’ intentions to reduce poverty as well as for the livelihood of smallholders.