Much of agricultural policy is rooted in a view that considers small farms as inefficient. Efficiency and productivity in agriculture, it is argued, can only be delivered by consolidating land, using advanced technology, investing in large-scale irrigation and massive fertilization, and encouraging monoculture in big-scale farms.
Governments must shift subsidies and research funding from agro-industrial monoculture to small farmers using 'agroecological' methods, according to Hilal Elver, UN's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Her call coincides with a new agroecology initiative within the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Land politics and the social movements mobilizing around land have changed profoundly, inspiring a new generation of scholar-activists. Professor Saturnino ('Jun') M. Borras explores land politics, agrarian movements and scholar-activism in his inaugural lecture at the International Institute for Social Studies.
Jun Borras, Jennifer Franco, Clara Mi Young Park, Mads Barbesgaard, Yukari Sekine, Ye Lin Myint, Thant Zin
02 March 2018
Dominant approaches to climate change mitigation are putting new pressures on small farmers and village dwellers, justifying dispossession by powerful actors who cast villagers' traditional ways of life as ecologically destructive or economically inefficient. In order to address the twin challenges of agrarian justice and climate justice, it is critical to understand the way new conflicts and initiatives intersect with old conflicts and the way they are compounded by undemocratic settings, and inequality and division along fault-lines of gender, ethnicity, class, and generation.
Jennifer Franco, Hannah Twomey, Pietje Vervest, Tom Kramer
28 January 2016
“Land is like our vein; it is vital for our living. After our land was confiscated, we don’t know what to do for our livelihood,” says a farmer from Kachin State in Myanmar. Today many inhabitants of rural communities in Myanmar live under threat of losing their lands in a battle for resources spurred by ethnic conflict, exploitative land laws, and powerful economic actors. The existence of a legal right to the land does not translate into that right being respected in practice, and people across the country are now working to protect their right to the land.
Sacrifice zones – abandoned, economically shattered places – are spreading in historically white rural areas and small towns across the United States. Rural decline fosters regressive authoritarian politics.
On World Fisheries Day, fisher peoples and their allies are taking to the streets and beaches to fight against ocean grabbing in all its forms - including Marine Protected Areas imposed without consultation that rob and criminalise local communities and benefit only privileged outsiders.
New data shows that less than one-quarter of the area of large-scale land concessions awarded to businesses since 2010-11 is being used for agriculture. This raises “serious questions” about the government’s land use policies.
A concise and indispensable critical guide to the global phenomenon of land grabbing. Find out how the global land grab is justified, what is driving it, why transparency and guidelines won't stop it, and learn about alternatives that could enable people and communities to regain control of their land and territories.
Delegates of the 9th Asia European Heads of Government Meeting (ASEM9) may not have known that the luxury villas, in which they met, had displaced a thriving farming community. But the story of the land grab is all too familiar one and casts doubt on the commitment of Asian and European nations to work for food security and sustainable development.
Ian Scoones, Jun Borras, Lyda Fernanda Forero, Ruth Hall, Marc Edelman, Wendy Wolford, Benjamin White
31 January 2018
Religion, gender dynamics, place and cultural identity – all inform rising authoritarian populism in rural areas, alongside class interests and inequalities. Mobilising alternatives to capture by regressive political forces is not straightforward.
The expansion of tree plantations and non-food crops is frequently left out of analysis on land grabbing, but is a crucial part of the picture. This paper provides an up-to-date review of tree plantations worldwide and summarises the latest research and data on their impact.
A call for papers that offer rigorous and innovative analysis to continue deepening and broadening our understanding of global land deals – in specific regional context, with special attention to climate change and the role of China and other middle income countries within the region.
What is governance? There are different definitions, but it can be conceived as the way that authority is exercised. Governance is networked, globalised, territorialised and differentiated. Governance has different objectives for different actors and actor networks. While it is a contested concept, globally governance is becoming increasingly financialised, and in some cases this includes land governance.