The Institute of African Studies congratulates Dr. Cochrane and Dr. Andrew for being granted an Insight Development Grant from SSHRC.
More than 800 million people face food insecurity around the world, a figure that has risen in recent years. The private sector - from smallholder farmers to multinational corporations - are critical in ensuring all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Understanding the enabling legal, policy and regulatory environment to do this is critical. Over the last decade, tens of millions of hectares of land in the Global South has been sold or leased to foreign investors, with Africa playing a central role. Many governments are optimistic about how this may contribute to improved livelihoods and food security. On the other hand, nongovernmental organizations are pessimistic and suggest these changes foster inequalities and harm livelihoods.
Dr. Logan Cochrane at Carleton University (Global and International Studies) and Dr. Nathan Andrews at the University of Northern British Columbia (Global and International Studies) will work to advance our understanding of how investment, law, policy and regulation interact with livelihoods, food security and inequalities. Specifically, they will compare cases of failed, contested and successful foreign investments in Ethiopia and Ghana. This research will provide evidence based on practice, as opposed to existing frameworks based on theory, to inform the development of appropriate enabling environments. The right laws, policies and regulation will strengthen food security, improve livelihoods and promote economic growth for all. In order to share the findings and promote the recommendations, academic articles will be translated into national languages to broaden the reach of findings, and these will be made freely available. They will also work with national governments and stakeholders to ensure the findings inform future decision making within the countries of study, and beyond.