Corporate Land Grabs Threaten Food Security

By Danielle Nierenberg ; Ronit Ridberg | The Christian Science Monitor, September 14, 2010 | Go to article overview

Corporate Land Grabs Threaten Food Security


Danielle Nierenberg ; Ronit Ridberg, The Christian Science Monitor


Wealthy countries are buying up farm land in poorer countries - with global consequences. These controversial land grabs hurt local workers and ecosystems, and dangerously tip the scale of the world's food economy.

Proponents of the local food movement like to talk about keeping "food miles" to a minimum. Buying a New Zealand apple in New England is a big no-no. Imagine if instead of stores buying fruit from the South Pacific, the government was buying land in South America to produce "our own" food.

Yet that is what's happening all over the world, as wealthy countries buy or lease large tracts of land in poorer countries for agricultural production and export. At the same time, financial institutions and agribusiness are chasing land as an investment in the expanding biofuels market. Poor governments are often too eager to comply, offering up what they deem "idle" or "unused" land, but which is frequently inhabited and farmed by indigenous populations.

While no one knows the exact number of these controversial deals (called land grabs by critics), hundreds have been reported in the media. The International Food Policy Research Institute estimates that up to 49 million acres of farmland were the subject of such negotiations between 2006 and 2009 alone.

Widespread consequences

In conferences and numerous reports, intergovernmental organizations like the World Bank and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have consistently promoted the idea that these deals can be "win-win," where poor countries receive some combination of money, infrastructure, and resources in exchange for their land.

Land rights advocates, farmers' and peasants' groups, and a slew of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have held firmly against this trend. They argue that these land deals spur an assortment of negative consequences, including ecosystem destruction, worker exploitation, loss of livelihoods, food insecurity, and market distortion toward agribusiness and global trade.

A recently leaked World Bank report cited in the Financial Times suggests they may be right: "Investors in farmland are targeting countries with weak laws, buying arable land on the cheap and failing to deliver on promises of jobs and investments," the Times summarized.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Corporate Land Grabs Threaten Food Security
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.