Oakland Institute

Reframing the Debate Inspiring Action

Land Deal Brief: Tanzanian Villagers Pay for Sun Biofuels Investment Disaster

 

The Tanzanian government has put agriculture at the forefront of its development agenda through its “kilimo kwanza” (agriculture first) initiative, which was established in 2009. For a country like Tanzania, which is gifted with a rich diversity of natural and human resources and has a population that is still largely rural, investment in agriculture can offer considerable development potential. 

In recent years, the production of agrofuels by foreign energy companies has been a growing area of agricultural investment in the country. Although proponents of this trend argue that it will bring much-needed agricultural investment to a country where the majority of the population is engaged in agriculture,1 others are concerned that large-scale agrofuel production, coupled with insecure land rights and weak land governance, is actually fuelling exclusion of rural households from their land.