31st January: CAWR Seminar: Allocating land to fam...

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CAWR Seminar: Allocating land to family farmers or to other investors: what are the opportunity costs? The case of the Office du Niger area, Mali


Laurence Roudart


Laurence Roudart is professor of Agricultural Development in the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where she occupies the chair devoted to The agrarian issue in developing countries. She heads the Master in Development Studies in this University. Her research and teaching focus on matters relating to agricultural policies, land policies, and food security policies in developing countries. She has carried out fieldwork in Indonesia, Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Burundi and Haiti. She is a member of the editorial committees of the journals Mondes en développement and World Food Policy, and a consultant to Encyclopaedia universalis for articles dealing with agriculture or food security. She is a member of the scientific council of the Michel Serres Institute for Resources and Public Goods.


What are the opportunity costs of NOT allocating land and irrigation water to family farmers in the Office du Niger area, Mali? Based on the concept of farming system, a thorough field survey, combining quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and processing, was carried out in 2011 with 380 family farm managers. Models were elaborated from the numerical data. Results indicate that family farmers could invest in land under the following conditions: have an animal- drawn equipment at least, engage in at least one dry-season crop, get relatively high yields and have access to irrigated areas larger than in 2010. To meet these conditions, proactive policies, pertaining to land, irrigation, credit and inputs are needed. Alloting new irrigated land to family farmers could lead to the creation of dozens of thousands of farm jobs and livelihoods, or to additional hundreds of thousands tons of rice, depending on policy scenarios. Thus, the opportunity costs of allocating land and irrigation water to investors other than farming families are particularly high.

Jan 31

Event Time:
Start time: 10:30
End time: 12:00

Event Location:
Richard Crossman Building, RC101, Coventry University, CV1 5FB

Event Contact: