Biofuels, Land Grabbing and Food Security in Africa

Edited by Prosper B. Matondi, Kjell Havnevik and Atakilte Beyene


An essential book for anyone wishing to understand the startling impact of biofuels and land outsourcing on Africa.
The issue of biofuels has already been much debated, but the focus to date has largely been on Latin America and deforestation - this highly original work breaks fresh ground in looking at the African perspective. Most African governments see biofuels as having the potential to increase agricultural productivity and export incomes and thus strengthen their national economies, improving energy balances and rural employment. At the same time climate change may be addressed through reduction of green house gas emissions.

There are, however, a number of uncertainties mounting that challenge this scenario. Using cutting-edge empirical case studies, this knowledge gap is addressed in a variety of chapters examining the effects of large-scale biofuel production on African agriculture. In particular, 'land grabbing' and food security issues are scrutinised, both of which have become vital topics in regard to the environmental and developmental governance of African countries.

A revealing book for anyone wishing to understand the startling impact of biofuels and land grabbing on Africa.

Author Bio

Prosper B. Matondi is the Executive Director of Ruzivo Trust, a not for profit organization based in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Kjell Havnevik is senior researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute and head of the institute's research cluster on Rural and Agrarian Dynamics, Property and Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Atakilte Beyene is a researcher in rural development. He is based at the Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction: Biofuels, Food Security and Land Grabbing in Africa - Prosper B. Matondi, Kjell Havnevik and Atakilte Beyene 
  • 2. Grabbing of African Lands for Energy and Food - Implications for Land Rights, Food Security and Smallholders - Kjell Havnevik 
  • 3. Biofuels Governance - a Matter of Discursive and Actor Intermesh - Marie Widengård 
  • 4. Peak Oil and Climate Change: Triggers of the Drive for Biofuel Production - Rune Skarstein 
  • 5. Attracting Foreign Direct Investment in Africa in the Context of Land Grabbing for Biofuels and Food Security - Prosper B. Matondi and Patience Mutopo 
  • 6. Smallholder Led Transformation Towards Bio-Fuel Production in Ethiopia - Atakilte Beyene 
  • 7. Biofuel, Land and Environmental Issues - the Case of SEKAB's Biofuel Plans in Tanzania - Kjell Havnevik and Hanne Haaland 
  • 8. Agro-Investments in Zimbabwe at a Time of Redistributive Land Reforms - Prosper B. Matondi 
  • 9. Competition Between Biofuel and Food? Re-Thinking Biofuel Narratives, Evidence From a Jatropha Biodiesel Project in Northern Ghana - Festus Boamah 
  • 10. Land Grabbing, Smallholder Farmers and the Meaning of Agro-Investor Driven Agrarian Change in Africa - Prosper B. Matondi, Kjell Havnevik and Atakilte Beyene


'Makes a strong and surely unanswerable case for increased African intellectual engagement in this disturbing and highly dangerous field.'
Robin Palmer, Mokoro Ltd, Oxford, formerly Global Land Adviser, Oxfam GB

'A timely set of probes into one of Africa's burning issues.'
Lionel Cliffe, Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds

'Represents the most substantial collection of research to date on the implications of global investment for the local poor.'
James Smith, University of Edinburgh

'Povides a rigorous and convincing analysis on the unfolding re-colonisation of Africa in the name of foreign investment.'
Mandivamba Rukuni, Director, Wisdom Afrika Leadership Academy


Publication Date: 9 June 2011
248 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781848138780
Hardback: 9781848138797
eBook ePub: 9781848138810
eBook PDF: 9781848138803
eBook Kindle: 9781780322391

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