Agricultural Investors as Development Actors? (AIDA)


Like agricultural investors from other non-African countries, Danish farmers and institutional investors are increasingly attracted by the invitations extended by African governments to invest in agriculture as well as by the encouragement they receive to do so, e.g. from the Danish government. The range of potential development outcomes at national as well as at local livelihood level from such investments is wide. Thus, international organisations like the UN are striving to develop an institutional framework for governing such global, private investment flows in order to enhance development outcomes and safeguard human rights. The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI) are the latest addition to this framework. Tanzania and Uganda are among the countries that have generated interest among Danish agricultural investors. At the same time, the two countries pursue different strategies to attract foreign agricultural investments. Through a multi-layered case study approach, this project aims to enhance positive and safeguard against negative development outcomes from the growing involvement of foreign investors and investments in agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa. Taking Danish agricultural investors as a case of foreign agricultural investors, the project explores the expectations, e.g. economic, societal, etc., that motivate investment decisions and the attention paid to emerging rights-based investment governance principles. Taking the location of Danish agricultural investments in Tanzania and Uganda as the geographical starting point, the project examines the development outcomes at sub-national level of foreign agricultural investments for people living in and using land in their vicinity. Informed by literature, and drawing on the specific research competences held by the research team, the project will in particular focus upon development outcomes with respect to employment, land tenure security and water security.


Midterm report 2018: AIDA has established an overview of Danish agricultural investments in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the associated investors. Close to 100 investments, involving more than 150 Danish investors, have been identified. On this basis, a total of 6 Danish agricultural investments have been selected as the geographical starting points for the delimitation of the research locations. Two rounds of qualitative fieldwork have been conducted in the selected sites in order to explore the reach in terms of development outcomes of such investments as well as possible ways in which such investments interact with the societies of which they form part. Subsequently, a questionnaire format has been formulated with reference to issues identified, and questionnaire-based interviews have been conducted with 6x400 respondents, drawn through a multiple-stage random sampling process. These responses are now to be analysed and complemented with further in-depth qualitative fieldwork.