Who and What is Driving Land Grabs?

Though many countries are partaking in land grabbing, there are some who are doing so more than others, and also a number private investment firms that are involved. Learn about the forces involved in this practice here.

“Political Dynamics of Land-grabbing in Southeast Asia: Understanding Europe’s Role”

The Transnational Institute explores the role of Europe in land grabs, a role which has often been downplayed. It uses the example of three case studies, focusing on the Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philliphines, and discusses how land deals between Europe and and these countries is impacting smallholders. The publication also explains the role trade policy is playing in land grabs.

“US Universities in Africa ‘land grab’”

The Guardian reports how an Oakland Institute publication found that universities in the United States, including Harvard University, are involved in land grabs in Africa through their hedge and equity fund investments.

“How Food and Water are Driving a 21st Century African Land Grab”

The Guardian reports on the growing role of Saudi Arabia and China in land acquisitions in Africa. The article names investment companies in Saudi Arabia who are planning to spend an additional 1 billion dollars on land in Mali, Senegal, Sudan, and Uganda, and details how China has finalized a deal with the Congo to grow Palm Oil for biofuels. The land grabs are fueling worries of further dispclament of smallholders in the concerned regions. 

“Al Amoudi Among Firms Behind Thousands of Forced Relocations in Ethiopia”

The Ethiopian Times reports how a Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire, Mohammed Al Amoudi of the Saudi Star Agriculture Development Company, is behind a massive land grab in Ethiopia — acquiring over 10 thousand hectares of land and displacing 70,000 indigenous people.

“Pension Funds: Key Players in the Global Farmland Grab”

The following piece by GRAIN details how pension funds backed by private investors are leading to the “global farmland grab.” The article states that investment in farmland though pension fund portfolios are expected to increase 3-5% by the year 2015, making land a rapidly growing form of investment.

Farmlandgrab.org reports how the Swedish firm AP2, and US pension fund TIAA-CREF have formed a partnership, investing in grain production assets in the U.S., Australia and Brazil.

“Palm Oil Fuels Land Grabs in Africa”

The following farmlandgrab article details how rising demand for palm oil, an edible oil, as well as a biofuel, is contributing to a land rush in Sierra-Leone, the Democractic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and other African countries. Some of the countries involved in global palm oil trade are Malaysia, Indonesia, China, and the United Kingdom.