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The Social Costs of Overseas Land Acquisitions Implications for Food Security and Poverty Alleviation

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The Social Costs of Overseas Land Acquisitions Implications for Food Security and Poverty Alleviation Land Grab: the Race for the World s Farmland Woodrow ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Social Costs of Overseas Land Acquisitions Implications for Food Security and Poverty Alleviation


1
The Social Costs of Overseas Land
Acquisitions Implications for Food Security and
Poverty Alleviation Land Grab the Race for the
Worlds Farmland Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars Washington, D.C. May 5, 2009
  • Presented by Alexandra Spieldoch
  • Director, Trade and Global Governance Program

2
Our current food insecurity
?
  • 963 million people
  • Major setback to hunger eradication
  • MDG commitments ½ by 2000
  • Investment in agriculture is urgently needed

3
Investment in land acquisition
  • Interest from governments and firms in long-term
    leases or ownership of land abroad
  • Such deals not all established many in
    negotiation or conflict
  • Nevertheless, interest in overseas land
    acquisition efforts is growing

4
Increase in land acquisition efforts catching
multilateral attention
  • IFPRI has just released a new report
  • FAO-commissioned pieces
  • World Bank to publish codes of conduct
  • UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
    mission to Madascar

5
What factors to be considered?
  • Clear need for investment
  • For whom and for what?
  • Overseas land acquisitions raise questions
    relating to ownership, access and control
  • What implications for land and people?

6
Types of historical overseas land acquisition
  • Colonization
  • Tourism
  • Contract farming
  • Natural resource extraction

7
Current investments
  • Outsourcing for food, feed and fuel
  • Investments tend to flow from richer to poorer
  • Not necessarily North-South

8
Current investments examples
  • China seeking offshore biofuels and food
    production in Africa
  • South Korean food production in Mongolia and
    Russia
  • Gulf Corporation Council outsourcing food
    production to Sudan and Pakistan
  • Kenya to supply produce to Qatar

9
Current investments Two main push factors for
investors
10
What do host countries hope to gain?
  • Infrastructure investment
  • Access to research and technology
  • Credit for markets
  • Ideally, local food system support

11
Risks
  • Lopsided power relationships between investors
    and host countries
  • Host government conflict within itself, and with
    its own people

12
More risks
  • High quality land could be diverted from
    communities assumptions about marginal and
    unused land could misrepresent the needs of
    communities

13
Some more risks.
  • Some targeted countries receive food aid, not in
    a position to refuse investment
  • Land tenure reform easily undermined by
    market-led approaches

14
Political Conflict
  • Land ownership disputes have long and violent
    history
  • Recent disputes have chilled deals from going
    through
  • Daewoo Madagascar

15
Investment measures
  • Incentives offered by host governments
  • Amending national land laws
  • Tax incentives
  • Few or no performance requirements
  • Relaxed regulatory oversight

16
Community-level concerns
  • Smallholder producers among most vulnerable
  • Policy takers rather than policy makers

17
Gender discrimination
  • Women seldom possess legal land rights
  • Women typically lack collateral to secure credit
  • Paid work often temporary, low-paid, and insecure

18
Land Degradation
  • Land degradation affects more than 900 million
    people worldwide and as much as two-thirds of the
    worlds agricultural land.
  • As much as 1.8 billion people could be living in
    countries or regions with absolute water scarcity
    by 2025.

19
Moving Forward
  1. Articulate a national vision for agriculture that
    leaves space for local priorities and smallholder
    needs

20
What kind of investment do Smallholders Need?
  • Credit
  • Technology that promotes sustainable agriculture
    for long-term food security
  • Access to land
  • Bargaining power
  • A fair price for their production
  • Access to markets

21
Moving Forward
  1. Review land use and availability , specific
    nature of land and promote land rights

22
Moving Forward
  • 3. Food Security First
  • Governments should enact measures to prioritize
    food security at the domestic level as the top
    priority

23
Moving Forward
  • 4. Adopt a rights-based approach to guide
    investment
  • Restrict governments and corporations from
    impinging on right to food
  • Free, prior, informed consent and full disclosure

24
Moving Forward
  1. Ensure broadly-based engagement in the various
    guidelines and best practice codes

25
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26
Acknowledgements Questions
  • Special thanks to the Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Thank you to the speakers and the participants
  • Q A
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