Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Links I Liked: Land Grabs, Etc.

(1) A "Land Grabs in Africa" Study that Doesn't Target China.  Opening a recent paper on land grabs published by Earth Security, I expected to find the usual sentences about "China" leading the land grab in Africa. I was pleasantly surprised to find nothing of the sort. Instead, a balanced assessment of the risks and of the sources of risk:

"Key investors are private firms and governments from Europe, Africa, the Gulf States, and South and East Asia, and a growing base of institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, and private wealth owners, generally in deals made with host governments."
One area missing: as the "database" on over 400 "land grabs" (or media stories) published by the NGO GRAIN on February 23, 2012, pointed out, a large number of American investors are also part of the picture.

3 comments:

  1. Dear Prof. Brautigam,
    You may also be interested in reading CIFOR's recent report (2011 - can be accessed at http://www.cifor.org/nc/online-library/browse/view-publication/publication/3732.html) on 'The Anatomy of large-scale farmland acquisitions in sub-Saharan Africa', which asserts that the UK and the USA are by far leading the way, with China a distant last of countries analysed.

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    1. Nice link. It is refreshing to see some concrete evidence that it is rather Western countries leading the way in land grabs, not necessarily China and the Middle East like is often claimed.

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  2. This is true. China is actually less involved than is believed. Where China is heavily involved in buying farmland is in Australia believe it or not, but less so in Africa. Also, "land grabs" is not always accurate, plenty of win-win projects as well.

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