Land Fumbles: The Hangover Effects of the Great Land Grab

September 10th, 2019

Author: Scott Schang

Source: Land Portal

Published: 7 June 2019

In the past decade, significant international attention has focused on “land grabs” in developing countries by companies and others hungry for land to grow food and procure resources for the world’s growing population. Tens of millions of acres of land in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were acquired by international companies and investors, in some cases creating the potential for economic development, but in many other cases displacing local communities and causing economic and social dislocation. As time has passed, however, it has become clear that there is a second part of this land grab phenomenon: what amounts to a “land fumble.” In many countries, investments have failed, been abandoned or greatly delayed, or have shrunk significantly. Having been awarded vast tracts of land by governments, many companies are now returning or abandoning some or all of these vast swaths of territory. There is abundant evidence of these land fumbles. Examination of large (+200 hectare) transnational land investment deals tracked by the Land Matrix shows that while over 41 million hectares have gone under contract, less than 25% of this has actually entered into production and operation. While the data base lists only about 10% of the acreage involved as being abandoned, reports released by Land Matrix in 2016 and 2017 suggest more widespread problems in investments being operationalised. >>READ MORE

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