S O C I A L J U S T I C E
A staggering 203 million hectares are changing hands in secretive land deals
© Alfredo Bini/Cosmos
The Great Africa Land Grab
Oxfam’s Phil Bloomer repor ts on the shocking scandal of (mostly) secretive land-grabbing, usually from those least able to defend their rights
Land grabbing has fast become a major threat to poor communities in Africa, Asia and South America. Povertystricken women and men are being driven from their homes and the land they rely on to grow food to eat and make a living, usually without compensation. In many cases this is often in violation of national laws and international standards for investment. Many end up destitute, living under plastic at the sides of roads, or migrating to urban slums to eke out a living. The shift from thriving rural communities to landless labourers brings untold misery and suffering to these displaced families.
This scandal has worsened in the last decade. The most extensive recent research points to a staggering 203 million hectares changing hands in around 2,000 mainly secretive land deals.
The drivers of this new land rush are numerous but come down to three major factors: foreign governments increasingly anxious to secure their food supplies, triggered by the two food-price spikes of 2008 and 2011; speculators who see African land as a one-way bet
Resurgence & Ecologist