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Agro-industrial plantations in Central Africa, risks and opportunities

Feintrenie L.. 2014. Biodiversity and Conservation, 23 (6) : p. 1577-1589.

DOI: 10.1007/s10531-014-0687-5

Large-scale land-based investments in Central Africa are not new, and the first decade of the twenty-first century saw renewed interest in agriculture by foreign investors. The new rush for farm land has involved new multi-national holdings in the region and sometimes in the sector. This paper analyses the recent wave of investments in farm land, and discusses their specificity, the ways the host countries deal with investors, and the impacts of these large-scale projects on livelihoods and on forest cover. It focuses on the four countries that host most of the natural forests in the Congo Basin: Cameroon, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo. The analysis was based on a historical review of the scientific literature and of media reports. Results are based on the assessment of large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural expansion and on field surveys conducted in 2012 and 2013, during which key stakeholders were interviewed in the four countries.

Mots-clés : investissement étranger; terre agricole; plantations; enquête; développement agricole; secteur agroindustriel; déboisement; gestion des ressources; forêt tropicale; cameroun; gabon; république démocratique du congo; congo; afrique centrale; déforestation

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