The effects of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) on households in rural communities of the Global South: gender relations, decision making and food security

What are the impacts of LSLA on the local food system and how do they affect the decision-making processes of both men and women regarding household food security ?


This interdisciplinary project aims to analyze the impacts of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) on the food system and its constitutive components – i.e. food production, food processing, food distribution and food consuming – with a special focus on gender relations and related decision-making processes concerning the food system and household food security. Taking into account gender issues, the research is grounded on strong evidence for women’s critical role in the livelihood of rural families.

Many studies across different developing countries show that, while men often control access and use of land, women tend to be in charge of subsistence-oriented food production, preparation and household food security. Therefore, the influence of LSLA on local actors’ configurations, strategies and decision-making will be assessed as well as the capacity of women and men to impact food security, especially through case studies carried out in Ghana and Peru, countries selected for their different cultural, social and economic background.


  • Gender studies
  • Large-scale land acquisition
  • Land grabbing
  • Food security
  • Institutional resource regime
  • Property rights
  • Contract farming
  • Land enclosure


  • Anthropology
  • Development
  • Economics
  • Environment
  • Geography
  • Human rights
  • Law
  • Political science


International Organisations:

  • UN Women
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • FAO

Non-Governmental Organisations:

  • Brot für alle Schweiz
  • International Land Coalition
  • RAINS (Ghanaian NGO)
  • Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales (

States & Public Collectivities:

  • DEZA Global Food Security Program

Relevant Countries

  • Developing countries
  • Ghana
  • Peru


This project, started in 2013, has been completed.

Contact the project team

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Research team

Jean-David Gerber
University of Berne

Michèle Amacker
University of Berne

Peter Knoepfel
University of Lausanne

Stephan Rist
University of Berne

Kristina Lanz
Principal Member
University of Berne

Laura Tejada
Principal Member
University of Berne

Akosua Darkwah
Associated Member
University of Ghana

Olivier De Schutter
Associated Member
Université catholique de Louvain

Ruth Meinzen-Dick
Associated Member
Consultive Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

Nancy Peluso
Associated Member
University of California Berkeley

Shahra Razavi
Associated Member
UN Women

Marcel Valcarcel
Associated Member
Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru