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Topic: Rural Development

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Impacts of foreign agricultural investment in developing countries: evidence from case studies

by Pascal Liu, Senior Economist, Trade and Markets Division, FAO.  
 
Although there has been much debate about the potential benefits and risks of international investment, there is a lack of systematic evidence on the actual impacts on the host country and their determinants. This paper summarizes the results of FAO’s case studies on foreign investment in developing country agriculture.

FAO’s studies on foreign investment in developing country agriculture suggest that the disadvantages of large-scale land acquisitions often outweigh the few benefits to the local community. In countries where local land rights are not clearly defined and governance is weak, large scale land acquisition raises particularly high risks for the local community.  Even from the perspective of the investor, land acquisition is unlikely to be the most profitable business model due to the high potential for conflict and damage to reputation.

Conversely, the studies suggest that investments that involve local farmers as equal business partners, giving them an active role and leaving them in control of their land, have the most positive and sustainable effects on local economies and social development. These inclusive business models need strong external support for supporting farmers and facilitating the investor-farmers relationship in order to succeed. They also require ‘patient capital’, as financial returns to investment are unlikely to materialize in the first years.

Beside the business model, other important factors include the legal and institutional framework in the host country, the terms and conditions of the investment contract and the social and economic condition in the investment area. Strengthening the governance and capacity of institutions in host developing countries is essential to enhancing the developmental impacts of foreign agricultural investment.

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Carbon Incentive for Physical activity: Conceptualizing clean development mechanism for food energy

The basic fact is that intense practitioners of yoga consume food only once a day while moderate practitioners of yoga consume food twice a day. With the normal consumption being around three times on a given day, the economic benefit or the reduction in food consumption due to yoga practice is two meals per person per day for intense practitioner and the same would be one meal per person per day for moderate practitioner. In addition, the economic benefit includes increase in wellbeing & consciousness, and decrease in cost of non-communicable diseases.
 
The paper analyses the food and water consumption, excessive consumption, food consumption taxes like fat tax and brings out the business behaviour of tickling food consumption. In addition to taxing and regulating the excessive consumption & the tickling behaviour, it explores the preventive best practices that reinforce natural human ability of self-control over food consumption. It identifies the practices where there is purposeful or consequential reduction in food consumption i.e. weight loss treatment and yoga, proposes clean practice, suggests accounting for savings & carbon incentive, and discusses the finance and policy options in developed and developing countries. Yoga also meets some of the objectives of health, education, environment, culture & sports, food and finance, and therefore seeks finance allocation from corresponding ministries to support the carbon incentive work. As an alternative, the human capability developed can be measured under capability approach for creation of human development incentive. With the efforts to increase physical activity by subsidy proving to be less effective and with the taxes preventing consumption but not reducing temptation in short run, the paper considers embedding the best practice in the education to bring the habit of physical activity. Evaluating the practice for optimizing food consumption may operationalize a wellbeing practice, stimulate economic growth, and may lead to completeness in conserving all forms of energy and to completeness in charging of food consumption taxes

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FSN Forum Brief - Forests and trees provide benefits for food security and nutrition – what is your say?

Brief based on the online discussion, held from 4 to 26 February 2013, facilitated by FAO’s Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum) with FAO’s  Forestry Department in the context of the International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition.

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Human Development Report 2013 - The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World

The 2013 Human Development Report is the latest in the series of global Human Development Reports published by UNDP since 1990 as independent, empirically grounded analyses of major development issues, trends and policies.