WP3. Understanding the impacts of commercial agriculture

Commodity chain analysis will be combined with hh survey data to understand how rural wellbeing changes as commercial agriculture expands. The commodity chain will be analysed for commercial agricultural crops that are rapidly expanding (identified by WP1), e.g. sugar cane, jatropha, and soya. We select cases in our central site (in the Beria corridor, but distinct from WP2) with commercial installations aged at least 3 years, such that effects are tangible. Expansion of large-scale plantations capitalised by the BRICS is a novel driver in Mozambique (Jones and Tarp 2012), but we will also examine outgrowing schemes because these potentially involve more broadly distributed benefits (Benfica et al. 2002), and create multifunctional landscapes rather than monoculture, therefore having different effects upon ES. We can therefore compare various modes of commercial agriculture, in particular looking to experiences of these crops in Brazil. A purposive sample of hh and community focus groups, using the methods in Table 1-4, along gradients of commercial agriculture will allow examination of impacts, in terms of ES availability for rural people (Tables 1-3), and what we term here ‘non-environmental impacts’. We anticipate these non-environmental impacts to be predominantly associated with wage labour, commercial outgrowing opportunities and displacement from land. Our empirical analysis is driven by the hypothesis that the poorest stand to lose access to ES and gain little in terms of benefits unless they can access wage labour/outgrowing opportunities. Designed alongside WP2, this work package allows comparison between household wellbeing implications of commercial and smallholder agriculture, contributing evidence to the current debate about how to intensify agriculture in the region.

Research questions
Q3.1 What is the nature of the commodity chain for new types of commercial agriculture? How much value accrues at each stage? What goods and embedded ecosystem services are exported and to where?
Q3.2. What are the non-environmental impacts of commercial agriculture for rural wellbeing?
Q3.3. What impacts does commercial agriculture have on the ES important to rural wellbeing?
Q3.4. How does commercial agricultural intensification impact the poorest in rural communities in the Beira Corridor?