A Recent Report Points to “Land Grabbing”
The subject of large scale land acquisition has headlined in the medias for the past four years. Since 2008, this and soaring food prices have emerged as factors aggravating the food shortages that have hit certain African countries. However, what this report reveals, among other things made public on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, is that the process started much earlier and that it has since accelerated, dangerously excluding the most vulnerable.
Over 40 organizations collectively researched trade pressures on the planet’s land and in their report, the controversial term “land grabbing” is clearly used.
The main findings of this study are as follows: while foreign investors are regularly singled out in the acquisition of arable land, the role of the host country’s national elites is also important. In addition, food production is not the main goal of these financial transactions focused on the land. Furthermore, the jobs promised in the contracts do not always materialize. Finally, economic governance does not live up to its obligations to the rural poor.
In the southern hemisphere, the rights of the poor are often customary and in such situations, they are barely, if at all respected; with women suffering the most from exclusion from the system.