Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

Land grabbing

An ambigous activity

Land Grabbing: What is?

Land grabbing refers to the phenomenon of large-scale land acquisitions, the buying or leasing of large plots of land in developing countries – and developed countries -, by domestic and transnational companies, foreign governments, and individuals. 

While the term has been used before throughout history, land grabbing as used today refers primarily to the rush for large-scale land acquisitions occurring since the 2007-2008 world food price crisis. In evoking food security fears within the developed world and prompting newfound economic opportunities for agricultural investors and speculators, the food price crisis led to a dramatic peak in large-scale agricultural investments. Most of these land agricultural investments are in the Global South, in Sub-Saharan Africa with 70% in Southeast Asia and Latin America, are foreign in nature and occur for the purpose of crop and bio-fuels production. 

Initially hailed by investors and some developing countries as a new pathway towards agricultural development, investment in land has recently been criticized by a number of civil society, governmental, and multinational actors for the various negative impacts that it has had in many instances on local communitiesi


"An Ambiguous Activity"


Land grabbing is an ambiguous activity because:


  • It encompasses large-scale acquisitions of farmland by foreign governments, international companies or investment funds – in the least developed or developing countries – in order to produce food, fodder and bio-fuel;

  • It takes place through long-term lease contracts for 50 or even 90 years where National legal instruments often enable such swift land purchases;

  • Land “deals” are predominant in countries where the land system is based on informal and traditional laws, recognized locally but not by international agreements. Hence there are no guarantees on land rights for local communities and, for this reason, peasants cannot prove they are land owners or users of land they are living on;
  • The land deals are made in exchange for infrastructure development, market access, financial support, and other supposed benefits. In practice however with no real guarantee of their realization and not necessarily subject to it.
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