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Large-scale land deals in Ethiopia: Scale, trends, features and outcomes to date

Ethiopia is an important case in the international debate on large-scale land acquisitions. It challenges assumptions about foreign dominance of land investment, or that large-scale land deals are primarily for food crops for export. It is a case where land deals for plantation agriculture are central to government agricultural strategy, but also where allocations have been subject to controversy in terms of impacts on rights and livelihoods at the local level.

This study discusses the findings of a systematic inventory of land deals for agricultural investments in Ethiopia, and provides a narrative description of key features of large-scale land deals in Ethiopia. The current situation regarding land deals is discussed, including the rationale and process for land allocation; the amount of land leased to investors; and features of allocations to date, including the profile of investors, terms of leases, status of implementation of investment agreements, employment creation, and social and environmental impacts.

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