LARGE-SCALE LAND ACQUISITIONS IN TANZANIA: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THEIR IMPLICATIONS ON WATER SECURITY
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The surge in large-scale land acquisitions – or ‘land grabs’ – following the financial crisis has provoked a polarised debate centred on the role of foreign investment in African agriculture. A critical and often overlooked, component of this debate is the role of water. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in 2013, this thesis explores a large-scale sugar project slated to begin in Tanzania in order to understand the likely implications of large-scale land acquisitions on water security. Although the original project bore all of the hallmarks of a ‘land grab’, a change in ownership saw the project reinvented and rebranded as a model for sustainable agriculture. Using a critical lens that transcends simplistic understandings of water security as water availability, this thesis provides some insights on how large-scale agricultural projects approach water management and what this may mean for water security in Tanzania.