Date & Time: 
Wednesday 10 September 2014

Impact of land grabs on food security in Africa, with special reference to Tanzania

Presented by Mark Gallagher

After the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007-8 and the collapse of speculative investments in the US housing market, the finance industry looked for new ways of maximizing returns on capital – beyond the traditional markets in currencies and commodities. In this process of financialization, one of these new investment locations was farmland, supposedly empty or underutilised farmland in developing countries. Wealthy investors looked at farmland as a means of obtaining high returns on their capital. Many proposals have been made over the last five or more years for foreign investors to buy or rent African farmland. Investors have sought farmland for growing crops for food or for use as fuel, or for growing trees – and Tanzania has been a popular target for foreign investors. The aims of this research study are to examine the effects of foreign takeover of Tanzanian farmland on food security and food sovereignty for local populations.

Following study in the social sciences Mark Gallagher has obtained undergraduate degrees at the University of Tasmania and at University College London, together with a postgraduate degree at Australia National University. He has engaged in food security work in Tanzania and east Africa, with the UN World Food Programme and other humanitarian organisations, in the implementation of emergency and development projects.  He is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Social Science at UQ, and plans to visit Tanzania at the end of 2014 for fieldwork.

All welcome.

For further information, contact convenor Jane O’Sullivan -

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