Biofuel Investments Threaten Local Land Rights in Tanzania
Just a couple weeks ago, Iowa State University (ISU) withdrew from advising the Iowa-based firm AgriSol Energy on itsplanned land deal in Tanzania. AgriSol Energy is seeking to acquire 320,000 hectares in Rukwa Region for large-scalefood and biofuel production[i] . ISUs role had been to ensure that the for profit venture be socially responsible. However, the development of AgriSol’s large-scale farm re quires the eviction of 162,000 localfarmers – hardly a benefit to the local communities.
[i] Iowa-based Summit Group and Global Agriculture Fund of the Pharos Financial Group, in partnership with AgriSol Energy LLC and the College of Agriculture andLife Sciences at Iowa State University, are developing a large agriculture enterprise in Tanzania. The site encompasses three “abandoned refugee camps”– Lugufu inKigoma province (25,000 ha), Katumba (80,317 ha), and Mishamo (219,800 ha), both in Rukwa province. .