Invest instead of Land Grabbing

by Developed Africa 25. September 2013 09:00

 

Land grabbing is a major issue in Africa, and one that needs some attention

Land grabbing is a wide-scale issue, it hits the incomes of thousands of farmers across the continent and a recent article in the guardian has evaluated what should be done to stop it.

It is estimated that:

at least 30 million hectares have been targeted by large-scale land transactions over the past decade"

The article sets out that the most recent rise in land grabbing around 2007-2008, was due to rich countries wanting to secure land that has generous natural resources to ensure a plentiful supply of produce for themselves. But what it has meant is that there is little investment into African farmers which is greatly needed, instead rich countries have just taken what they want for themselves with no regard that what they are doing is hindering African development. 

the FAO estimates that more than $80bn (£49.8bn) per year of net investments in agriculture in developing countries are needed. Achieving the goal in a sustainable manner that preserves natural resources will cost even more"

However, it is a struggle to ensure the best way of investing in agriculture, as the article makes it clear that farmers are the best investors in agriculture, but they cannot meet the sufficient investment needs even with government help. So a partnership is needed. 

FAO research shows that investments that involve local farmers as equal business partners, leaving them in control of their land, have the most positive effects on local development"

But obviously, this is not going to just immediately occur, something needs to be done to ensure that it is harder for businesses to land grab, G8 leaders have promised to help imporve land governance, which is key, but unless something actually happens, land grabbing could just keep happening. And as the developed countries of the G8 host many of the world's most influential investors, it is quite possible that they can be influenced. 

Developed Africa itself has many African opportunities on its database which encourage investment in agriculture and partnership, which is the best way for Africa to develop, and to combat land grabbing.

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