In this report ActionAid warns that taxpayer money and government policies are driving global landgrabs. It shows how incentives offered to investors are increasing hunger and poverty.
The report highlights how incentives including free or cheap land, cut-price loans and generous tax incentives are used by governments, donors, international agencies and financial institutions like the World Bank to attract private investors. These incentives are provided in the mistaken belief that large-scale agriculture and foreign investments are the only tools available to achieve growth and food security.
The report includes land grab cases in Senegal, Cambodia, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and India.
ActionAid warns that international initiatives such as the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition prioritise the interests of the private sector and the creation of large commercial farms while ignoring the role of small farms in providing food and improving income. Yet studies show that small-scale farmers with the right training and support are more productive than larger commercial farms.
Recommendations to stop the land grabs include that national governments must recognise and protect the land rights of all their citizens, especially the rights of women. Any land deals that do take place must follow the principles of free, prior and informed consent. They must be transparent, offer the rightful compensation and benefit rather than disadvantage communities.