Foreign Land Acquisitions: Household Livelihood with Some Evidence on Nigeria

Foreign Land Acquisitions: Household Livelihood with Some Evidence on Nigeria

Ben E. Aigbokhan (Samuel Adegboyega University, Nigeria) and Kehinde O. Ola (Samuel Adegboyega University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7405-9.ch014
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This chapter focuses on the impact of foreign land acquisition on the livelihood of the host communities. The chapter investigates Presco Industries, which has been in existence for the past 23 years in Obaretin and Ologbo Estates in Edo State. The impact on employment, entrepreneurship, community relation, environment, and farming, which are the main sustenance of rural communities, are also considered. The result of the Binary Probit Estimator employed shows that the existence of the company in the communities has not offered any significant impact on the livelihood of the people. All indicators of economic wellbeing are not significant for all the households. Therefore, there is need to incorporate the host communities' economic sustenance into the programmes of large-scale agricultural business before land acquisition.
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Large scale land acquisition deals with acquisitions of several thousands of hectares of land for agricultural activities. This has become a common phenomenon in the recent times with demand rising from three major factors: food security for the citizens of the investing countries; energy security as a result of European Union’s energy policies of capping greenhouse gas emission and other climate change incidents and therefore the need to produce bio- fuels; and the financial returns. Sub Saharan Africa has abundant land supply which is cheap in nature compare to elsewhere in the world. The cheap nature of this land comes from the fact that their money is highly depreciated (Brown, 2013). The continent has the largest reserves of arable land in the world (Wouterse et al, 2011). The total land deals in Africa alone accounted for over 134 million hectares of land in 2012 (IRIN, 2012).

Africa has large labour force in agriculture with 80 million small scale farmers supplying 95% of African food needs (Sindayigaya, 2012). The people of Africa are specially noted for farming. More than half of the sub- Saharan Africa involve in farming and in countries such as Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda and Burkina Faso, it is as high as 40% - 50% of the population (Block, 2010). It accounts for 32% of the gross domestic product and 65% of the labour force. There is low productivity and this comes from declining real prices on world market for agricultural exports; and from protectionism in countries that are members of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. African countries are plagued with low income earning activities and there is high need for investment that will create avenues for rapid growth.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Economic Activities: All activities that promote the wellbeing of rural households.

Host Community: The community that provides land for the use of large scale agricultural business.

Contract Workers: Workers on temporary employment.

Large Scale Agricultural Business: A firm that acquires land in developing countries for large scale farming.

Large Scale Land Acquisition: This deals with acquisition of several thousands of land for agricultural activities.

Household: A group of people living together under the same roof.

Agbomola: A community near Benin City, Nigeria. The people are mainly peasant and are subjects of the old Benin Kingdom.

Self-Employed: People operate business of their own.

Economic Wellbeing: A variable that describes the extent to which a household has access to essential of life.

Community: A living together of people who share the same cultural heritage.

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