Yalew Teshome and Debebe Asfaw
This study was conducted to assess and examine the effects and opportunities of land potential agricultural investment projects offered to the local people in Gambella regional state. The research designed used for this study was survey and cross-sectional research design. In response to the research problem, both qualitative and quantitative were used in this study. Simple random sampling technique has been applied. In light of this, both primary and secondary data were used. Primary data was obtained through questionnaire, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The survey questions were collected from a sample of 300 local people living surrounding the farms; interviews were also held with 90 government officials and farms manager, enabling the sample to be 390.Secondary data was obtained from published materials, books, journals, Regional and Woreda annual report as well as project reports and maps. Descriptive statistical tools such as percentage and frequency were used to analyze the data. Therefore, the general finding of this research disclosed that large agricultural investment projects have both advantages and disadvantages. The major advantages of large agricultural investment projects was job opportunity it offered to local people, while its effects on local people in the study area were:- deforestation, diversion of river and destruction of wild life habitat and land eviction that increase the hardship on local people. In the process of land allocation to the investors’ local peoples were not consulted and even participated in deal. This caused a serious concerned among local people about the motive of business. In addition, the study revealed that large agricultural investment projects failed to conduct EIA which make it difficult for some stakeholders to monitor and evaluate the effects of the large agricultural investment projects on the environment. Key words: Large agricultural investment projects, its effect on local people and environment, participation of local people in land deal in Gambella Regional State, Ethiopia.
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