The Globalization of Farmland: Theory and Empirical Evidence
1World Bank, United States of America; 2International Monetary Fund, United States of America
Following the great recession of 2007-2008, there has been a booming interest in the direct acquisition of farmland in developing countries. To capture stylized facts of the rush for land, we develop a model that accounts for technology, geography and institutions as determinants of transnational investments in land, and that differentiates between investments that resemble platform FDI and those that seek to increase food independence in the origin country. Using updated global data on large-scale land acquisitions and cultivation suitability, and for the first time at the subnational level, we find that investors favored countries with smaller, not larger, agricultural market potential, which is consistent with the food-independence motive for land investments and a trend of agricultural globalization.
Impacts Of Large Agricultural Investments - A Comparative Analysis From Three African Countries
1University of Bern, Switzerland; 2French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and International Land Coalition (ILC), Rome; 3Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being and the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, University of Pretoria, South Africa; 4CIRAD, France; 5University of Pretoria, South Africa; 6Malagasy Land Observatory, Madagascar; 7CETRAD (Centre for Training and Integrated Research In ASAL Development) Nanyuki, Kenya; 8Study of Governance Innovation, University of Pretoria, South Africa; 9University of Pretoria, Department of Plant Production and Soil Science
Utilizing a cross-country comparative approach – focused on Kenya, Mozambique and Madagascar – we shed light on differences in the national contexts that shape the concrete outcomes and impacts of distant drivers of land use change. The project comprises three main lines of inquiry. First, it seeks to understand what drivers and rules of the game serve to pull, push, or regulate agricultural investments at the global and respective national and infra-national levels. Second, it investigates investors’ strategies, examining how their business models evolve (or not) in relation to global drivers and national/local governance. Third, it aims to understand and assess how these agricultural investments impact natural resources, poverty, and food security at the national, local, and household level. This cross-country, comparative approach sheds light on how differences in national contexts mediate and reshape the influence of international drivers of change, determining the concrete outcomes and impacts of agricultural investment.
Towards normalization? Comparison and evolution of land acquisitions in eight African countries
1Land Matrix Initiative; 2International Land Coalition; 3CIRAD; 4University of Pretoria; 5Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) - University of Bern
Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) have been the subject of a large body of research, focusing particularly on global or sector specific dynamics. This paper rather takes an inter-country perspective. Using data from the Land Matrix and applying a comparative case study design, the comparison and evolution of land acquisition mechanisms is presented for eight African countries. The presentation of comparative figures is complemented with an analysis of the respective regulatory frameworks. Results show that convergences are observed for several data variables; investor countries, location drivers and nature of the deal, while there is diversity in the scale, intention and temporal data. The policy frameworks implemented may account for some of these findings. International guidelines do not account for the diversity, as they are in their infancy or have not (yet) been launched. The role of external factors and the requirements from investors themselves likely explain most of the trends.
Tainted Lands: Corruption In Large-Scale Land Deals
1University of Louvain (UCL, Belgium) and at SciencesPo (Paris); 2Global Witness
This report details the findings of the Tainted Lands project, which was jointly launched in 2015 by the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and Global Witness. At the outset of the project, ICAR and Global Witness commissioned Professor Olivier De Schutter to author this report, which is the result of a series of stakeholder consultations and extensive desk-based research. The intention of this report is twofold. First, the report aims to raise awareness of large-scale land deals, corruption, and the combined effects of these two issue areas on human rights around the world. Second, the report intends to provide practical steps that corporations, financial institutions, and governments must take to prevent human rights harms from occurring in the context of corruption and land.