Land tenure and International Investments in agriculture

New UN report on food crisis and the global land grab
09 August 2011
Article

In the midst of a raging famine in the Horn of Africa and continuing expansion of land grabbing across the Global South, a new and critical report has been released by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, of the Committee on World Food Security.

TNI Fellow Jun Borras is a co-author of the study, together with Camilla Toulmin, Esther Mwangi, Prem Bindraban and Sergio Sauer. Among the findings include:

  1. No evidence of ‘pro-poor, win-win’ scenarios in these land deals;
  2. Negative impacts on communities where such land deals are carried out;
  3. Majority of land deals are not linked to food production, but for the production of biofuels and other industrial products such as timber;
  4. Major land deals occur not just in Africa, but worldwide; involving not just transnational capital, but domestic capital as well; 
  5. It is most likely that the trend in land grabbing will continue and escalate in the future, and might lead to renewed conflicts.

The study has recommended a set of policy reforms, including renewed support for diversified smallholder agriculture and the strengthening of the UN World Committee on Food Security institutional mechanisms such as the Voluntary Guidelines in land governance. The land grab report will be a key document during the 37th Session of the UN CFS when it convenes in October 2011 in Rome.

For further queries, you may contact Jun Borras: borras@iss.nl