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Learning Route on Securing resource and land rights through Inclusive Business Models. The case of Uganda

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19th to the 26th of August 2013, Uganda

Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in agricultural investment. In many cases, this new momentum has translated into large-scale acquisitions of farmland in developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

For people in recipient countries, this fast-evolving context creates opportunities to improve living standards, but also risks of losing land and being marginalized. Partly as a result of sustained media attention, these acquisitions have triggered lively if polarized debates about “land grabbing”. Less attention has been paid, however, to alternative ways of structuring agricultural investments that do not undermine the livelihoods or land and other natural resource rights of poor rural communities. Recent research has found that a range of business models can be used to structure agricultural investments in developing countries that could provide an alternative to large-scale land acquisitions.

In this context and in line with its 2011 – 2015 Strategic Framework, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) developed the IMI Grant “Securing resource rights through inclusive business models”, focusing on “enhanc(ing) lesson-learning and policy dialogue on the establishment of sustainable inclusive business models in rural areas that secure land and other natural resource rights of IFAD’s target groups”. Broadly, the process sought to contribute to IFAD programme and project level, mainly (i) enhancing environmental sustainability and resilience in small-scale agriculture; (ii) promoting win-win contractual arrangements to help small agricultural producers seize opportunities at lower risk in agricultural value chains; and (iii) Supporting the development of technologies for sustainable intensification of small-scale agriculture.

As part of the Grant activities, the PROCASUR Corporation was invited to partner with this initiative to develop the LR project: “Innovative Ideas to Secure Rights to Resources and Land through Inclusive Business Models. The case of Uganda” and its follow-up activities.

This particular LR was implemented between the 19th and the 26th of August 2013 in several Districts of Uganda in which the Vegetable Oil Development Programme – Phase II (VODP II), StarCafé and KAWACOM were case studies and shared their knowledge with a group of 20 participants from East and Southern Africa, West Africa and Asia and Pacific.