A new phase of ‘foreignization’ and land grabbing is occurring via value-chain relations in Bolivia. Exogenous forces from some BRICS and MICs are penetrating Bolivia’s countryside and drastically changing social relations of production, reproduction, property and power.
The concern for ‘pro-poor’ land policy has coincided with the mainstream promotion of efficient administration of land policies, leading to the concept of ‘land governance’. This paper aims at better understanding of contemporary policy discourses and political contestations around land and land governance.
New geopolitical dynamics and the surge for natural resources, such as land, accompany the rise of the BRICS countries in the global arena. In this paper, I discuss the case of Chinese agricultural land investments in the Central Asian state, Tajikistan. Emerging from a Soviet past, Tajikistan seems to be on its way to becoming one of China’s newest satellite states.
The so-called “global land grab” continues the historic process of land enclosures described by Sir Thomas More in Utopia as “sheep eating men,” when English peasants were evicted from the commons to make room for private estates.
In February 2012 Economic Land Concessions granted to private companies in Cambodia totalled 2,033,664 ha., and increased to 2,289,490 ha. by June 2013, covering 63 per cent of the country’s arable land. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to Cambodia grew by 73 per cent from 2011 to 2012. The country, together with Myanmar and Vietnam, is referred to as one of the ‘emerging bright spots of the subregion’.
At the turn of the 21st century, farmland was still considered an investment backwater by most of the financial sector. Although some insurance companies have had farmland holdings for years, most financial investors found farmland, and agricultural investment in general, unappealing compared to the much higher returns to be made in financial markets.
As Brazil and China become the world’s leading exporter and importer of soybeans respectively, Chinese companies have sought investments in Brazil to wrest greater control over the flows and profits of the international soybean trade from North Atlantic-based transnational companies. While some promote these as positive “South-South cooperation”, many others condemn them as neocolonial “land grabs” that displace peasants, cause environmental degradation, and deindustrialize the Brazilian economy.
Out of the kaleidoscope of different angles through which land grab can be analysed, the one elevating food security – and food sovereignty – as a crucial concern is amongst the most engaging and the less inquired, especially in its intertwining with policy elaboration.
There are an estimated 500 million smallholder farms in the developing world which provide livelihoods for 2 billion people and produce about 80% of the food consumed in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is these small farmers who truly contribute to global food security.
The Land Deal Politics Initiative calls for applications to their small grant competition. Grants are available to undertake original field research, carry out follow up fieldwork on an ongoing related initiative, or write up a paper based on research.
As land is grabbed and earmarked in Africa for supposed development, there are nearly always implications for the water nearby, for local people's land and water rights and environmental sustainability.
Across the world, ‘green grabbing’ – the appropriation of land and resources for environmental ends – is an emerging process of deep and growing significance. In recent years there has been a veritable explosion of scholarship examining the neoliberalization of environments, nature and conservation, drawing partly on older traditions of ecological/green Marxism and critical political ecology
At the heart of the growing inequalities in Europe are the issues of land concentration and land grabbing. It is a critical subject and is having severe impacts on the prospects and viability of our communities.
Jennifer Franco, Danny Carranza, Joann Fernandez (Rightsnet)
07 October 2011
A Philippines biofuel project would appear to fit the World Bank's definition of a "win-win" scenario with its promise of jobs and conversion of 'idle land'. However a closer look unveils corporate manipulation, political corruption and exploitation of subsistence farmers that typically accompanies so-called "responsible investment"