Mineral industries, growth corridors and agricultural development in Africa

Weng, Lingfei, Boedhihartono, Agni Klintuni, Dirks, Paul H.G.M., Dixon, John, Lubis, Muhammad Irfansyah, and Sayer, Jeffrey A. (2013) Mineral industries, growth corridors and agricultural development in Africa. Global Food Security, 2 (3). pp. 195-202.

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Abstract

An extractive industries boom in Africa is driving unprecedented expansion of infrastructure into sparsely populated regions. Much of the investment is in high-volume minerals such as iron and coal that will require heavy infrastructure and large settled workforces. New roads and railways are being built to support these industries. Mineral infrastructure is reinforcing the dynamic of designated "growth corridors", which are increasingly determining settlement patterns and rural land use in Africa. These corridors are penetrating into areas where agriculture has been constrained by lack of access to markets. They could unleash a major expansion of arable crops in the Guinea and Miombo savannahs, tropical tree crops in Congo Basin rainforests and irrigated agriculture on the floodplains of several African river systems. Rapidly growing African cities are largely dependent on imported food but growth corridors linking them to hinterland areas could favour shifts to African-sourced foods. Governance weaknesses may allow outside investors to make land grabs along growth corridors and further marginalise poor smallholders. New pressures on environmentally sensitive areas may emerge. Policy changes are needed to avoid negative impacts of this major new development trend and to exploit the potential for poverty alleviation and food-security benefits.

Item ID: 29154
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2211-9124
Keywords: African growth corridors; agricultural intensification; population movements; extractive industries; rural governance
Funders: Australian Council for International Agricultural Research
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2013 23:48
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040399 Geology not elsewhere classified @ 10%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160401 Economic Geography @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 100%
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