- Publisher: Zed
- ISBN: 9781780324203
- Price: $23.95 CAD
- Publication Date: Jul 2013
- Rights: Canada
- Pages: 248
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Great African Land Grab?
Agricultural Investments and the Global Food System
Over the past few years, large-scale land acquisitions in Africa have stoked controversy, making headlines in media reports across the world. Land that only a short time ago seemed of little outside interest is now being sought by international investors to the tune of hundreds of thousands of hectares. Private sector expectations of higher world food and commodity prices, and government concerns about longer-term national food and energy security, have both made land a more attractive asset.
Dubbed ‘land grabs’ in the media, large-scale land acquisitions have become one of the most talked about and contentious topics amongst those studying, working in or writing about Africa. Some commentators have welcomed this trend as a bearer of new livelihood opportunities. Others have countered by pointing to negative social impacts, including loss of local land rights, threats to local food security, and the risk that large-scale investments may marginalise family farming.
Lorenzo Cotula, one of the leading experts in the field, casts a critical eye over the most reliable available evidence on this hotly contested topic, examining the implications of land deals in Africa both for its people, and for world agriculture and food security in a shrinking planet.
2.The historical roots of the land rush
3.The scale, geography and drivers of the land rush
4.’Land grabbing’ in the shadow of the law
5.Winners and losers
About the Author
Dr. Lorenzo Cotula is a senior researcher and team leader at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), where he leads work on land and natural resource investment in lower-income countries. Lorenzo undertakes research, capacity building, policy advocacy and advisory work at field, national and international levels. He has published extensively on trends and drivers, legal frameworks, business models and socioeconomic outcomes of land deals in Africa. He holds a Law Degree from the University ‘La Sapienza’ of Rome, an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, a PhD in Law from the University of Edinburgh, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge.