In the face of violent dispossession and incorporation into an exploitative labor regime, indigenous peasant families in northern Guatemala are struggling to access land and defend their resources as the basis of their collective identity.
Leading academics discuss key issues regarding 'the global land grab' and how this is linked critically to official policies, like 'Responsible Agricultural Investment' (RAI), considering how small farmers are being dispossessed and incorporated into the agro-food-feed-fuel complex.
Maria Luisa Mendonça, Fabio T. Pitta, Carlos Vinicius Xavier
18 July 2013
An examination of ethanol production in Brazil, highlighting the role of financial capital, the territorial expansion of agribusiness and the impacts on labour relations and indigenous peoples and peasant farmers.
Jennifer Franco, Lucia Goldfarb, David Fig, Luisa Mendonca, Les Levidow, Mireille Hoenicke
06 April 2010
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in developing agrofuels on a large scale as an alternative to fossil fuel. EU biofuels policy, in particular, assumes that the environmental impacts associated with agrofuels production will be largely beneficial. This study questions such optimistic assumptions.
Jennifer Franco, Lucia Goldfarb, David Fig, Les Levidow, S.M.Oreszczyn et al.
23 February 2011
The Europe 2020 strategy's promotion of resource-efficient technologies and market incentives as the solution for sustainable agriculture is contradicted by experience where techno-fixes and market pressures have increased overall demand on resources.
EU agrofuels policy is having serious impacts on biodiversity, food provision and the livelihoods and food sovereignty of local communities in the global South and in the EU itself, as well as on climate change. Yet we seem locked into it because of lobbying by industry coupled with EU government collusion, delay and confusion.
While the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) persists with its central focus of fostering competitiveness and exports of European agribusiness, it will continue to undermine small-scale farming and create greater food insecurity in the global South.
The Procana Bioethanol project in Mozambique is a clear example of how agrofuel investments contribute rather than mitigate climate change, and are often accompanied by dispossession and impoverishment caused by landgrabbing.
Ben McKay, Sérgio Sauer, Ben Richardson, Roman Herre
15 September 2014
Flex crops, spread over greater expanses of land, are increasingly interlinked through international exchange in food, feed and fuel. Brazilian exports of sugarcane ethanol to the US are in part influenced by the domestic US production of maize ethanol, which in turn is shaped by the price of feed and the soybean supply.
An eco-efficient bioeconomy, combining environmental sustainability and economic advantage, has been promoted to alleviate resource constraints of rising global demand. For political forces resisting environmental degradation and people’s dispossession, several means are necessary to contest this global agenda and counterpose alternatives.
Why despite ten years of accumulating evidence on the social and environmental cost of agrofuels, does the European Commission persist with its failed policies? An analysis of the EU's bioeconomy vision, how it is fuelling land grabs in Africa, the agrofuels lobby that drives policy, and the alternative visions for energy that are being ignored.
The possible impact of agrofuels on the human right to adequate food for the most oppressed and marginalised social groups must be considered prior to applying policies and programmes that encourage the production, investment and trade of agrofuels.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) -- through its Agrarian Justice work area -- is starting a major research on the rise of BRICS and middle income countries (MICs) and its implications for global agrarian transformations, with special attention to Chinese investments in Southeast Asia in collaboration with several universities.