Ruzivo Trust

Welcome to Ruzivo Trust
A Centre for Knowledge Excellence

The knowledge we generate through our research and development programmes and projects are aimed at ‘action for transformation’ through helping policy makers to make the correct decisions, and local players to design and implement appropriate interventions that responds to the livelihoods needs of the poor. “Sharing for Action” is our motto. In our work, we constantly analyze and package data into products for different stakeholders. We provide networks and forums with our published information for their own ‘action’. Through the publications, the findings and lessons are communicated to the public and networks. Nonetheless, the knowledge work of the Trust transcends academia, and for this reason some of the publications are targeted at the constituencies where we are working in rural and urban areas.

Biofuels, Land Grabbing and Food Security in Africa

Edited by Prosper B. Matondi, Kjell Havnevik and Atakilte Beyene
ISBN: 9781848138797
248 pages

'This is a most welcome and timely addition to the growing literature on biofuels. It comprises an interesting mix of country (Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana) and broad studies, which raises serious concerns about the future of African smallholder farmers, usefully critiques the famous Brazilian biofuels 'success story', and makes a strong and surely unanswerable case for increased African intellectual engagement in this disturbing and highly dangerous field.' - Robin Palmer, Mokoro Ltd, Oxford, formerly Global Land Adviser, Oxfam GB

'Biofuels, Land Grabbing and Food Security in Africa represents the most substantial collection of research to date on the implications of global investment for the local poor.' - Professor James Smith, University of Edinburgh


The issue of biofuels has already been much debated, but the focus to date has largely been on Latin America and deforestation - this highly original work breaks fresh ground in looking at the African perspective. Most African governments see biofuels as having the potential to increase agricultural productivity and export incomes and thus strengthen their national economies, improving energy balances and rural employment. At the same time climate change may be addressed through reduction of green house gas emissions.

There are, however, a number of uncertainties mounting that challenge this scenario. Using cutting-edge empirical case studies, this knowledge gap is addressed in a variety of chapters examining the effects of large-scale biofuel production on African agriculture. In particular, 'land grabbing' and food security issues are scrutinised, both of which have become vital topics in regard to the environmental and developmental governance of African countries.

A revealing book for anyone wishing to understand the startling impact of biofuels and land grabbing on Africa.

Africa Now is an exciting new series, published by Zed Books in association with the internationally respected Nordic Africa Institute. Featuring high-quality, cutting edge research from leading academics, the series addresses the big issues confronting Africa today. Accessible but in-depth, and wide-ranging in its scope, Africa Now engages with the critical political, economic, sociological and development debates affecting the continent, shedding new light on pressing concerns.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction: biofuels, food security and land grabbing in Africa - Prosper B. Matondi, Kjell Havnevik and Atakilte Beyene
2. Grabbing of African lands for energy and food - implications for land rights, food security and smallholders - Kjell Havnevik
3. Biofuels governance - a matter of discursive and actor intermesh- Marie Widengård
4. Peak oil and climate change: Triggers of the drive for biofuel production - Rune Skarstein
5. Attracting Foreign Direct Investment in Africa in the context of land grabbing for biofuels and food security - Prosper B. Matondi and Patience Mutopo
6. Smallholder led transformation towards bio-fuel production in Ethiopia - Atakilte Beyene
7. Biofuel, land and environmental issues - the case of SEKAB's biofuel plans in Tanzania - Kjell Havnevik and Hanne Haaland
8. Agro-investments in Zimbabwe at a Time of Redistributive Land Reforms - Prosper B. Matondi
9. Competition between biofuel and food? Re-thinking biofuel narratives, evidence from a jatropha biodiesel project in Northern Ghana - Festus Boamah
10. Land grabbing, smallholder farmers and the meaning of agro-investor driven agrarian change in Africa - Prosper B. Matondi, Kjell Havnevik and Atakilte Beyene
To request your copy, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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