Large Scale Land Acquisitions around the World: Landscape Analysis and Policy Intervention Possibilities
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The 2007-2008 food price crisis highlighted the fragility of the global food system and raised concerns about food security in many import-dependent countries. One of the emerging strategies for capital rich, but land-poor countries is to pursue large-scale land acquisitions that provide proprietary access to scarce resources. This paper introduces case studies in Europe, South-America and Africa to illustrate efforts around land policies that aim to take advantage of foreign direct investment in agricultural land. We have developed an agricultural investment scorecard to serve as a connecting point between investors and potential host countries. Investors may use this scorecard as a tool to assess the opportunities in a target country. Host countries can benefit from the scorecard as a self-evaluation mechanism that highlights strengths and areas for improvement in order to attract private capital for land investments. After using our scorecard to evaluate our case study countries we have identified some common patterns and general recommendations for policymakers in potential host countries. These include: (1) define a specific goal for land policy, (2) prioritize capacity building, (3) incentivize through well-defined land rights and (4) value environmental assets.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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