International Land Deals for Agriculture:
Around the world, 26.7 million hectares of agricultural land have been transferred into the hands of foreign investors since the year 2000. This means that these investors possess approximately 2 per cent of the arable land worldwide, or roughly the equivalent to the total area covered by United Kingdom and Slovenia together. This finding comes from Land Matrix's newest report "Land Matrix Analytical Report II: International Land Deals for Agriculture".
The report provides detailed information on who is buying up farmland in which regions of the world and how this land is being used. It also highlights the economic, social, and political impacts of land investments.
Additional findings from the report:
- Around the world, 1,004 signed agreements on agricultural land (so-called “land deals”) exist.
- For approximately 70 per cent of these deals (710), agricultural activities have been initiated.
- Africa is the continent most impacted by land deals, with 422 deals covering a total area of 10 million hectares. Other heavily impacted regions are Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.
- The agreements primarily target areas previously used for agriculture. This creates increased competition for land and the potential for conflicts with the local population. Markus Giger, Head of Global Change Impacts on Sustainable Development at the University of Bern said: ”A lack of transparency and the marginalisation of local stakeholders weaken the bargaining position of smallholder farmers and pastoralists, including indigenous peoples”
- Most of the investors are from Malaysia, the United States, Great Britain, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. Western European investors are involved in 315 land deals covering an area of 7.3 million hectares which makes Western Europe the largest investor region.