The winners have been identified of a £3.65m Challenge Fund funded through DFID’s LEGEND (Land-Enhancing Governance for Economic Development) umbrella programme, to drive innovative and responsible investments in land, in particular agriculture. The fund, managed by KPMG LLP, seeks to improve the effects of land investments on communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Funding has been awarded to seven civil society organisations that have formed partnerships with businesses to test innovative approaches to sustainable land investment.
The fund will support projects that drive approaches in responsible land investment based on the principles of the globally negotiated Voluntary Guidelines on Land Tenure (VGGT). The projects use a variety of context-specific approaches that balance respect for the legitimate land rights of local people and investments, thus modelling pro-poor growth. The fund supports activities that test a variety of approaches and tools, including the Analytical Framework for Land-Based Investments in African Agriculture, adopted in 2015 by the New Alliance Leadership Council composed among others of the African Union Commission, UN FAO and relevant donor governments.
The seven partnerships will implement their projects across five countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia. These projects are:
The partnership will apply an innovative approach to due diligence and data collection in the critical sugar supply chain, which will improve business practice and transparency on land rights. The project aims to improve livelihoods for 50,000 people across four countries directly.
Landesa and Illovo Sugar Ltd (Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania)
The project will pilot an approach that aligns Illovo’s Land Guidelines, along with its Road Map on Land Rights, with the principles embodied in the VGGT and approaches to responsible agricultural investments in land set out in the Analytical Framework for Land-Based Investments in African Agriculture. This will be done on Illovo sugarcane investments in three countries. Lessons from this pilot will be used to ensure more socially responsible land investments - better protecting land rights and increasing income for communities affected by Illovo investments.
MICAIA Foundation and Baobab Products Mozambique Ltd (Mozambique)
The project will support 24,000 women in Northern Mozambique to secure access to forest land and to generate income from forestry. The value chain in focus will be that of the famous Baobab tree which is often handled as a hidden “gold mine” for health and nutrition-sensitive agricultural production and business operations.
ORAM and Portucel (Mozambique)
This project will use an integrated approach to securing community, family and individual land rights by partnering with Portucel, a major forestry investor. The pilot includes: the creation of 20 representative entities at community level; development of detailed community land use plans; certified tenure over land resources for 14,000 households, and the creation of a legitimate local land administration system.
Solidaridad and Natural Habitats Sierra Leone Ltd (Sierra Leone)
The project will apply the VGGTs to a Natural Habitats SL palm oil operation in Sierra Leone. This seeks to directly increase the annual income of over 3,000 smallholder farmers. Learning from this pilot will be used to promote industry-wide adoption of these guidelines.
Welthungerhilfe and Balmed (Sierra Leone)
The project will assist Balmed, a cocoa producer, in developing an equitable and sustainable income sharing arrangement between Balmed, land owner and workers. This project supports 900 smallholder farmers in acquiring and securing new tenure rights for themselves and their families.
Veterinaires Sans Frontieres Belgium and Dorobo Safaris (Tanzania)
This project will work with local communities to build the capacity of local land management institutions and encourage local people’s engagement in land and tourism planning. It aims to secure community land for farmers and hunter-gatherers with legitimate tenure rights and for tourism use.