Convening in Bern, Switzerland, 5–8 September 2017, the 4th International Conference on Research for Development (ICRD) gathered researchers, policymakers, and societal partners in order to discuss ways to support transformations towards sustainable development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Demeter team was particularly invested in this event organizing one Panel session and participating in different sessions and in one plenary key-note debate.

Panel: “Commercialization Agriculture – Reorganizing Gender”

The Demeter Team organized this panel to examine how the contemporary acceleration of a agricultural commercialization affects rural livelihoods and reorganizes gender relations. Fred Dzanku and Dzodzi Tsikata presented first results from the livelihoods survey in Ghana, which showed differences in the dietary diversity of households headed by women and men, and in the degree to which households were involved in marketing food crops: those that sold more crops tended to be better off, however, only up to a point. Kristina Lanz reported from her research on an investment by the Ghana Agro-Development Company, illustrating how local power relations help elites capture the benefits even from a project considered a “best practice.” These members of the Demeter team were joined by colleagues from around the world discussing the impact on women of oil palm expansion in Indonesia, illustrating data and measurement issues regarding gender divisions of labour in Laos, and exploring marketing systems and barriers to marketing for women potato and bean farmers in Rwanda. The panel attracted a large audience and generated lively discussion. For the detailed programme of the session and the abstracts of the papers presented, please click here.


Keynote Debate: Governance of contested natural resources

Dzodzi Tsikata discussed keynote presentations by Erle Ellis and Jun Borras, focusing on the narrow understanding of governance, especially of land, as a matter of processes and forgetting outcomes.

Presentations in panels

Team members also presented papers in various panel sessions.

Andres Torrico Ramires and Christophe Gironde “Land Commercialization, Livelihood Strategies and Food Security: A case study of Cambodia” in the Panel session: Commoditization, employment and the question of land: How does access to land shape employment conditions in the rural labour market?

Seng Suon and Siny Suon “ Is the confluence of national policy and local development planning effective in addressing gender equality and the right-to-food?” in the Panel Session:  Partnerships For Producing And Effectively Using Knowledge That Advances Transformations Towards Sustainable Development

Joanna Bourke-Martignoni and Saba Joshi  “Mediating Land Conflicts: Localizing global governance norms in rural Cambodia” in the Panel Session: Understanding And Transforming Drivers Of Land Systems In A Globalized World

Fenneke Reysoo and Siny Suon  “‘In The Forest We Had Plenty’. Gender, Food Culture and Diet Change in Rural Cambodia (Kampong Thom Province, 1995-2015)” in the Panel session:  Securing And Enhancing Access To Land For Smallholders In Shifting Cultivation Systems.