Land grab to develop pastoral areas in Ethiopia?

Two articles on large-scale land investment in Ethiopia – including the pastoral lowlands – have been published in the first 2012 issues of the Journal of Peasant Studies and are available free online, as part of the journal’s contribution to ongoing policy debates around the UN Committee on Food Security Voluntary Guidelines on land. The articles examine the implications of Ethiopian Government policy regarding land on smallholder farmers and pastoralists. The Government regards pastoralism as an unsustainable way of using land that must ultimately be transformed through state-organised settlement programmes. Yet the land reform proclamation in Ethiopia in 1975 stated that “nomadic people shall have possessory rights over the lands they customarily use for grazing” and the Ethiopian Constitution of 1994 explicitly states that “pastoralists have a right not to be displaced from their own lands”.

Fouad Maaki. 2012. Power and property: commercialization, enclosures, and the transformation of agrarian relations in Ethiopia. Journal of Peasant Studies 39 (1): 81–104.

Tom Lavers. 2012. ‘Land grab’ as development strategy? The political economy of agricultural investment in Ethiopia. Journal of Peasant Studies 39 (1): 105–132.

Posted on 17 March 2012 in Pastoralism, Policy & Power