When people are using lands under customary tenure arrangements, there is an inequality in bargaining power where no formal titles to the land exist if a foreign investor is interested in purchasing the land.
I wonder why the people (and more importantly the political leaders and elite) of the African and Latin American countries are not opposing and driving these companies out from within their national borders. The reason is simple. The rich and elite of every country is the real beneficiary of the process of globalisation.
On May 5, the Wilson Center hosted a half-day conference that considered the implications for investors, host countries, and food security, highlighting case studies from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the former Soviet Union.
Mohammed Mbwana, who farms in the Tana River delta area and is an official of a local NGO, said the Qatar agreement would displace thousands of locals. At least 150,000 families in farming and pastoralist communities depend on the land in question, said to be part of Kenya’s biggest wetland.
More than 20 million hectares of farmland in Africa and Latin America are now in the hands of foreign governments and companies, a sign of a global "land grab" that got a boost from last year's food crisis.