Framework Needed for Land Deals in Developing World

By Sahiba Trivedi, on , Briefing

Driven by food security concerns, governments around the world have begun purchasing land in developing nations for agricultural purposes. Foreign land acquisition -- known by critics as "land grab" -- responds to worries over global problems that include growing water scarcity, teeming populations, increasing demand for food and bio-fuels, and climate change impacting arable land and its productivity.

This trend necessitates an international framework or code of conduct that can protect small local farmers as well as the economy and the ecology of the host country from potentially negative impacts. Such a code would seek to resolve the question of food security so that the host country and its people are neither exploited nor marginalized. The World Bank, the U.N. and the African Union are all working on developing codes of conduct and guidelines for foreign land acquisition. But the conditions surrounding this trend and the parties involved make the measures taken so far inadequate. ...

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