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From Investment funds and Asset Management Companies to questions about Africa's farmers

Anseeuw W., Ducastel A.. 2012. In : IFSA. Producing and reproducing farming systems. New modes of organisation for sustainable food systems of tomorrow : 10th European IFSA Symposium, July 1-4, 2012, Aarhus, Denmark. Vienne : IFSA, 14 p.. European IFSA Symposium. 10, 2012-07-01/2012-07-04, Aarhus (Danemark).

Linked to agricultural liberalization and deregulation, the recent food price crisis resulted into macro-actors' development and direct engagement into agriculture and land, particularly commercial banks, investment funds, asset management companies. These institutions developed renewed models of agricultural production and land acquisition: pre-crop model, input finance model, equity and investment fund models, partnership and share equity scheme models. Often less visible than direct 'land grabbing', these new models of agricultural productiona dn investment are vectors of profound agrarian restructurings, leading to questions regarding the concentration of land and of the agricultural sector in the hands of a few (international) (agri-) businesses, the status of (family) farmers and regarding the increasing inequalities that are arising. The paper describes and analyses the different agricultural production models being developed in the South African context and discusses their application and implications for the country's as well as the continent's agricultural development trajectories. These issues are essential considering that in the absence of alternative development models, this conception of agricultural development presently becomes the reference paradigm, in South Africa but also on the continent. It is indeed adopted by public development agencies (NEPAD, AfDB) and is exported by these "macro-actors" within the framework of their economic expansion on the African continent.

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