The South African Institute of International Affairs published a good study in November 2011 by Helen Lei Sun titled “Understanding China’s Agricultural Investments in Africa.”
While it stays out of the “land grab” debate, where there is more myth than fact, it documents Chinese FDI in Africa’s agricultural sector.
The paper analyzes the driving factors behind China’s agricultural investment in Africa, particularly from the perspectives of economic development and market factors, and concerns about food security. It considers the implications of China’s experiences in terms of institutions, productivity and technology. Finally, the paper addresses the issues of green technology in the context of China’s agricultural investment in Africa.
The report acknowledges that it is hard to assess the impact of China’s investment in Africa. It is, nevertheless, important to understand why China has accelerated its agricultural investment in Africa, and the extent to which China’s investment has had an impact on African agricultural growth.