Since 2000, about 26.7 Million hectares of land have been purchased by international investors in developing countries and emerging markets. This equals about two percent of agriculturally useful soil or the size of the United Kingdom plus Slovenia.
Some people call this landgrabbing and point to the non-transparent processes and the negative consequences for poor countries of origin. Contracts are brokered quite often behind closed doors and the previous land owners don’t take part in these negotiations. When small farmers get displaced, they very often lose their livelihood.
Others, on the contrary, speak of essential investments for the underfinanced agriculture and stress the chances for these countries. Often the local infrastructure like roads, schools and hospitals benefit from these investments. Jobs are created and the markets get closer to the small farmers. As a result, the farmers have a better and quicker access to seeds and fertilisers.
Those are two positions of the extreme and the truth is somewhere to be found in the middle. The investments must be checked individually to make a judgement on them.
In which context should investments be made and how should the people affected by it participate in the negotiations?
The topic “Landgrabbing or reasonable investments? ” can be selected by YES! teams from the region North as a YES! 2017 topic.
This topic has been selected to work on by the YES! teams of the Helene-Lange-Gymnasium Rendsburg and the Gymnasium Kronwerk Rendsburg.
Learn more about the YES! 2017 team of the Helene-Lange-Gymnasium Rendsburg here on their profile page.
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Photo credits (top to bottom): (c) shutterstock.com / Attasit Ketted, (c) IfW – Kiel Institute for the Economy, (c) shutterstock.com / Jacek Rogoz, (c) ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft, (c) Joachim Herz Stiftung.