Más de 20 millones de hectáreas de tierras en el mundo en desarrollo están en manos de gobiernos y empresas extranjeras, ejemplo de una apropiación agraria que se disparó con la crisis alimentaria del año pasado.
Von Braun says many details of the land deals are unknown because of a lack of transparency. But he estimates the amount of land and money involved. “It adds up to 15 to 20 million hectares currently under negotiation…. So it’s fairly large. How much money is involved? If we add up the deals negotiated and the investments planned, it adds up to $20 to $30 billion of investment,” he says.
These land acquisitions have the potential to inject much-needed investment into agriculture and rural areas in poor developing countries, but they also raise concerns about the impacts on poor local people, who risk losing access to and control over land on which they depend.
Foreign investors in overseas farmland “should not have a right to export” during a food crisis in the host country, a government-backed think tank is to propose on Thursday, in the first code of conduct to address the so-called land grabbing trend.
Increasingly, the land deals are coming under the scrutiny of the UN and watchdog groups such as Grain, the International Land Coalition and the IFPRI. That's because it is not obvious that they are win-win situations.