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Regional Rural Development Briefings A series of meetings on ACP-EU development issues West Africa Regional Briefing: Climate change and Land acquisition Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 1-2 November 2010 http://acpbriefings.net. Global land acquisition: new challenges for ACP countries?

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Regional Rural Development BriefingsA series of meetings on ACP-EU development issues

West Africa Regional Briefing:

Climate change and Land acquisition

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 1-2 November 2010

http://acpbriefings.net


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Global land acquisition:

new challenges for ACP countries?

Isolina Boto, Head, CTA Brussels Office


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According to the press: a demand of and Grain suggests significant levels of activity over the past five years in foreign investors acquiring large tracts of arable land in developing countries.at least 42 Million Ha in less than one year, two-thirds of which was in sub-Saharan Africa


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  • The land highest in demand is close to water resources, irrigated at a relatively low cost in infrastructures, and closest to markets and from which the produce can be exported easily

  • The land acquired is not intended to produce crops to sell on the world market or to feed the local population, but rather to meet food and biofuel demand in the country that invested in this land


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Concentration in 10 pays of which 5 are in Africa irrigated at a relatively low cost in infrastructures, and closest to markets and from which the produce can be exported easily(Sudan, DRC, Mozambique, Madagascar, Chad and Zambia)

In Africa 53% of the land is over 6 hours away from a market (24% in Latin America)


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Threats irrigated at a relatively low cost in infrastructures, and closest to markets and from which the produce can be exported easily

  • Commodity traders, agri-food corporations, private investors see investment in farmland as an important new source of revenue.

  • Land acquisitions create the risk to move towards large scale mechanised farms and monoculture systems threatening small farmers and diversified agriculture.

  • Lack of compensation to communities


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What basis for development, what agriculture? irrigated at a relatively low cost in infrastructures, and closest to markets and from which the produce can be exported easily

  • intensification or expansion

  • type of investments for better productivity

  • medium-scale agriculture coexisting with the small farmers? or

  • mega-farms and a large number of smallholders?

  • What role and process to involve for the various actors


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Needed actions irrigated at a relatively low cost in infrastructures, and closest to markets and from which the produce can be exported easily

Investment in agriculture

  • IFPRI estimated the global incremental agricultural public investment required—the additional amount necessary to meet the MDG goal of halving poverty by 2015—to be US$14 billion annually for all developing countries. Sub-Saharan Africa ranged from US$3.8 to US$4.8 billion


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Needed actions irrigated at a relatively low cost in infrastructures, and closest to markets and from which the produce can be exported easily

  • Careful examination of the terms of the agreements between foreign investors and host countries, to ensure technology transfers and that food production on local farms will also benefit farmers (basis on informed and voluntary consent and not expropriation; direct participation, cash transfers (including rent)…


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  • Enforceable code of conduct to ensure the participation of local producers, respect for customary property rights, appropriate compensation, sustainable management of natural resources, and fait trade policy rules

  • Governments must take the lead in land policy and tenure reform and donors support it.


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  • A multilateral and regional approach to avoid countries competing for FDI and lowering the requirements on investors.

  • A key element in a code of conduct for foreign land acquisition is transparency in negotiations. Existing local landholders must be informed and involved in negotiations over land deals.


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