Ensuring responsible agricultural investments in the least developed countries and developing countries

Centre d’analyse stratégique, Paris

16 July 2010

Please find enclosed a new publication from the Centre d’analyse stratégique that you may find of interest:

Ensuring responsible agricultural investments in the least developed countries and developing countries

By Dominique Auverlot, Blandine Barreau, Patrick Brouchet, Johanne Buba, Caroline Halfen

[Download PDF: http://farmlandgrab.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/ANALYSIS_Responsible-agricultural-investments.pdf]

The transfer of land, and more generally of agricultural production factors, to foreign investors in developing countries, leads to an ethical dilemma: how can one analyse the decision by the Sudanese government to allocate the use of 200,000 hectares to a Qatari company when the country is the leading destination for international food aid?

These decisions, which in principle aim to contribute to the development of the country, cannot be condemned a priori, without thorough examination: indeed, only 15 % of the Sudanese arable area is currently under crops, leaving some 68 million hectares of ‘good land’ unused.

Meanwhile, investment in the agricultural sector has become the new spearhead of the world food security strategy: in answer to the call of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the G8 countries have offered a 20 billion dollars envelope in order to increase the agricultural production of the Developed Countries (DCs).

Are local populations doomed to be excluded from the agrarian development derived from these transactions? Or can investors contribute to food security in the host countries? After setting out a panorama of the phenomenon in the current state of knowledge, the present note addresses the question of the consequences of these projects and proposes a series of recommendations aimed at French and European public bodies, at investors and at the banking sector.

The note follows on a report by the taskforce on “Transactions of agricultural assets to foreign investors in developing countries” set up by the Centre d’analyse stratégique and chaired by Michel Clavé, in charge of the Sustainable Development Mission, Head of Agriculture and Agrifood, Crédit Agricole S.A.

The report has been released in June 2010 : it is available in its French version at http://www.strategie.gouv.fr/en/content/report-sales-agricultural-assets-foreign-investors-developing-countries

Best regards,

Vincent Chriqui

Directeur Général Centre d'analyse stratégique

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