Renewed Perspectives, Old Challenges: Foreign Agribusiness Impacts on Local Livelihoods and Food Security in Naivasha, Kenya
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After decades of employing varied approaches to impel development in the global south, foreign agribusiness investments have been underpinned as key tools for accomplishing the elusive goal. By depending on land and water resources, however, these investments are argued to impede local food production and thus hamper food security. This study conducted in Naivasha, Kenya, looks into the impacts of European floriculture agribusiness investments on local livelihoods and food security. The research uncovers major impacts on resources and local livelihoods,with water playing a central role. While the floriculture industry has created many employment opportunities, the quality of employment is greatly challenged. Findings from the research study challenge the views that agribusiness investments present credible tools for propelling development in the global south given the multiple challenges facing local communities around Naivasha area. While certification standards and government institutions have often been viewed as ‘enabling institutions’, the challenge of improving the quality of life in the global south is characterised by complexity that demands broad understanding based on bottom-up, demand-driven development as opposed to current supply-driven, top-down approaches in the foreign agribusiness sphere.