Investments in agricultural land may be essential for achieving food security and promoting economic growth, but what are the potential costs and benefits for local landholders and the environment?

Investing in land, and in activities requiring land, occurs around the world. As a broad category, “land and investments” encompasses a wide range of scenarios: investments may be small or large in terms of the amount of money invested and scale of the land acquired. Investments may be undertaken for activities ranging from agriculture or forestry to infrastructure, extractive projects, renewable energy, or even tourism; and may involve a variety of actors, such as local smallholders, national governments, local investors, or foreign corporations, among others.

Given the breadth of what falls within investment in land and land-related activities, the concept of land investments is not inherently controversial. For example, the most significant source of agricultural investments tied to land in low- and middle-income countries comes from farmers themselves—not only by land investments, such as acquiring new land, but also by investments in agriculture, including in crops, improvements to the land they already hold, and new equipment or structures to make their land and activities more productive [1]. Such investments are indisputably important.  Yet the types, forms, and scale of investment deemed appropriate remain highly polarizing in many contexts, especially with respect to agricultural activities and land investments more generally. Large- and medium-scale land investments that require a transfer in rights to use land raise particularly difficult concerns, given their potential to negatively affect existing land users and local communities—leading in some cases to charges of “land grabbing.”

Strong land governance systems and secure land tenure (i.e. the certainty that landholders’ rights to the land will be recognized, protected, and enforceable if challenged by others) can support land users’ sustainable investments in land and agriculture, as well as their ability to make decisions regarding whether to retain or transfer their land rights in the context of incoming investors who seek to use their land. Weak or conflicting land governance systems and insecure tenure, on the other hand, may lead to less sustainable land use, or may create a greater likelihood that legitimate land rights are violated as other land investors move in. While various guidelines and principles explicitly address responsible investment in land and in agriculture, there are still challenges associated with ensuring that land investments respect land rights and human rights, are sensitive to gender and environmentally sustainable, and result in expected benefits rather than conflict. Governments and investors may find that such issues are even more difficult when they constitute “legacy issues” that must be addressed after investments have occurred or operations have been ongoing [2]. And although transparency around large land-based investments is slowly increasing, information regarding such investments often remains inaccessible to those affected and the general public, limiting understanding of their implications and impeding accountability.

 

Indicators

Indicator Min-Max
Number of years

Obs missing
Min / Max

Share (%) of Agricultural Value added with respect to the Total Value Added produced in a given country in a given year.

Measurement unit
Percentage

Total spending for agricultural reserch measured measured as a share of the value added from agriculture, forestry and fishing activities

Measurement unit
Percentage

This indicator asks whether national laws provides alternative approaches to the fair market value approach in cases where land markets are weak or non-existent.

Measurement unit
Index (A; C)

Employees are people who work for a public or private employer and receive remuneration in wages, salary, commission, tips, piece rates, or pay in kind.

Measurement unit
Percentage

Free negotiations between right holders and investors measured on a scale from A - which stands for good practices - to D - reflecting weak practices.

Measurement unit
Index (A; D)

Key information on land concessions is public measured on a scale from A - which stands for good practices - to D - reflecting weak practices.

Measurement unit
Index (A; D)

Rule of law captures perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the poli

Measurement unit
Index (-2.5; 2.5)

This indicator measures total natural resources rents as a share of the gross domestic product (GDP) of a given country.

Measurement unit
% of GDP

Mapping

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Total Area (ha) calculated as the sum of all deals, in a gven country over the period 2000-2015.

Measurement unit
Ha

Ranking

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Investments selected openly on economic, socio-cultural and environmental basis measured on a scale from A - which stands for good practices - to D - reflecting weak practices.

Measurement unit
Index (A; D)

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parties indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.

Media

Latest News

A photograph of the countryside in Sierra Leone
23 October 2017
Sierra Leone

The Transparency International Secretariat (TI-S) in Berlin is seeking a consultant to research beneficial land ownership in Sierra Leone, applying and testing a newly developed methodology.

BACKGROUND

A photograph of the landscape in Cuith-Raing in Scotland
23 October 2017
Scotland

The Transparency International Secretariat (TI-S) in Berlin is seeking a consultant to research beneficial land ownership in Scotland, applying and testing a newly developed methodology.

BACKGROUND

27 September 2017
Global

The app will provide weekly satellite deforestation data in 17 tropical countries including Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A mobile app launched on Tuesday will allow indigenous people, forest managers and law enforcement officials in remote areas to monitor deforestation and fires regardless of connectivity, according to developers.

"Forest Watcher" is designed to allow offline access to real-time satellite maps and data collected by Global Forest Watch, a U.S.-based charity that monitors changes in forest cover.

Protesters demonstrate against land rights NGO Equitable Cambodia in Phnom Penh earlier this month.
29 September 2017
Cambodia

The Ministry of Interior yesterday ordered the temporary suspension of land rights NGO Equitable Cambodia for allegedly violating its own by-laws and the controversial law regulating NGOs passed in 2015.

In a letter signed yesterday, Interior Minister Sar Kheng ordered NGO Director Eang Vuthy to “temporarily suspend Equitable Cambodia’s activities for thirty working days”.

According to the letter, the organisation violated Article 5 of its own by-laws, as well as Articles 10 and 25 of the Law on Associations and NGOs.

Latest Blogs

Africa

By Frank Pichel, Interim CEO & Chief Programs Officer, Cadasta Foundation

Across the continent, insecure rights to land are robbing millions of financial stability and long-term prosperity. While new technology is giving people the tools to define what’s theirs, governments must recognize that certainty of ownership is a prerequisite of sustainable development.

Latest Events

26 February 2018 to 28 February 2018

Location

United Arab Emirates
AE
Iran
Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Syrian Arab Republic
United Arab Emirates
Yemen

The Government of the United Arab Emirates in partnership with the World Bank, the Global Land Tool Network, UN-Habitat, the Arab League and the Arab Union of Surveyors is pleased to announce the first Arab Land Conference that will be hosted by the Dubai Land Department and held in Dubai, UAE, between 26-28 /February/2018.

27 November 2017 to 30 November 2017

Location

Teresina, Piauí, Brasil, 64000-000
Piauí
Brazil
BR
Brazil

A Comissão Organizadora da IV Reunião Nordestina de Ciência do Solo já definiu a data do evento, que ocorrerá entre os dias 27 a 30/11/2017 na cidade de Teresina, PI. Segundo o Coordenador do evento, o Dr. Henrique Antunes de Souza, da Embrapa Meio-Norte, nos próximos dias será disponibilizado o site do evento contendo informações sobre programação, preço das inscrições, modelo de resumo, normas de submissão, etc. A seguir são apresentados os membros que compõem a Comissão Organizadora da IV RNCS:

 

Coordenador

Cabbage plantation areas on the slope of mount Gede Pangrango Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia.   Photo by Ricky Martin/CIFOR
11 October 2017

Location

Lebanon Room
FAO Headquarters
Rome
Italy
IT
Africa

DFID's Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND) programme is promoting learning and innovation through 7 CSO-private sector partnerships in diverse agri-regions in 5 African countries; USAID and others are supporting similar initiatives. This side event will share and discuss early insights from these pilots and explore what can be achieved through these approaches: 

23 August 2017 to 25 August 2017

Location

Curitiba, Brasil Curitiba
Brazil
BR
Latin America and the Caribbean
Brazil
Portugal
Spain

Nos dias 23,24 e 25 de agosto do presente ano, levar-se-á a cabo o TERCEIRO CONGRESSO IBEROAMERICANO DE SOLO URBANO na cidade de Curitiba, Brasil, com o tema “O solo na nova agenda urbana”, organizado de maneira conjunta pelo Colégio Mexiquence AC, a Universidade Federal do Paraná, a Universidade Pontifícia Católica do Paraná e a Universidade Positivo.

Debates

Rubber Plantation in Ratanakiri Cambodia
Open
9 October 2017 to 20 October 2017
Facilitators
Jean-Christophe
Terry Parnell
South-Eastern Asia

Since the 1990s, a new wave of large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural investments has emerged world-wide and in the Mekong region, in particular. Land grants for agro-industrial concessions are not new and can be traced back to the colonial era. However, the convergence of the food, financial and energy crises in the mid-2000s has intensified interest in large-scale forms of agriculture to unprecedented levels. In the Mekong region, significant areas of land have been granted to companies for agro-industrial investments, i.e.

Open
22 September 2017 to 1 October 2017
Facilitators
Fiona Flintan
Babatunde Ajao
Kenya
Tanzania
Nigeria

The PROCASUR Corporation in Africa in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have partnered with the International Land Coalition, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Land Portal Foundation and Resource Conflict Institute (RECONCILE) to present the Learning Initiative: Innovative practices and tools to reduce land use conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers, taking place in Kenya and Tanzania, between the 22nd September and 1st October 2017 under the framework of the PROCASUR-IFAD Programme “Strengthening Capacities and tools

Open
22 August 2017 to 29 September 2017
Facilitators
LIZAHMY
Monica
Global
Kenya

Background

From August 22nd to September 15th 2017  the Land Development  and Governance Institute (LDGI) and Land Portal Foundation will co- facilitate an online debate that will involve the contribution of major stakeholders focusing on contemporary Kenyan land governance issues.

Closed
5 June 2017 to 16 June 2017
Facilitators
Godfrey Massay
Lukasz Czerwinski
Global
Tanzania

From June 5-16, 2017, Landesa and the Land Portal will co-facilitate a dialogue through which a variety of stakeholders will contribute to discussion on the principles and practices of land-based investments, with a focus on the Tanzanian context. This is intended as part of the broader conversation on responsible investment in land principles, guidelines and practices that has proliferated since, at least, the 2009 food crisis and subsequent ‘land grabs’ that swept the global south

Partners

Library

Displaying 1 - 6 of 1585
Jurisprudence
October 2017
Mozambique

O presente relatório inscreve-se nas actividades desenvolvidas no âmbito do Projecto GCP/MOZ/069/NET, estabelecido entre a Organização das Nações Unidas para a Agricultura e a Alimentação (FAO) e o Governo da República de Moçambique, cujo objectivo geral é o de apoiar a implementação de três diplomas legais recentes e inovadores no ordenamento jurídico moçambicano: a Lei de Terras, a Lei do Ambiente e a Lei das Florestas e Fauna Bravia.
Este objectivo geral desdobra-se em quatro objectivos específicos, assim escalonados:

Men displaced from Shangil Tobaya farm rented land for the rainy season in Dali, close to Tawila in the Sudanese state of North Darfur. They are part of a community of displaced persons who have set up camp in Dali, fleeing the heavy fighting that took pl
Policy Papers & Briefs
October 2017
Africa

The Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND) Challenge Fund supports innovative partnerships between non-profit organisations and agricultural investors with the goal of encouraging responsible agricultural investment. The £3.65 million fund is a core component of DFID’s LEGEND programme.

Reports & Research
October 2017
Mozambique

This report is a product of a partnership between Terra Firma and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), contributing to a study of changing land access in sub-Saharan Africa supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Journal Articles & Books
October 2017
Mozambique

Mozambique has a land governance system that allows for strong protection of community-based land rights, community consultation with respect to partnerships with investors, and also secure rights to land for investors. However, the implementation of legislation has been slow and the capacity among state actors is weak. Tensions exist between a government keen on promoting foreign investment and agro-industry and a rural population that is insufficiently aware of and not always able to exercise their legal rights.

Reports & Research
Policy Papers & Briefs
September 2017
Malawi
Africa

This study uses data from the complete computerization of agricultural leases in Malawi, a georeferenced farm survey, and satellite imagery to document the opportunities and challenges of land-based investment in novel ways. Although 1.5 million hectares, or 25 percent, of Malawi's agricultural area is under agricultural estates, analysis shows that 70 percent has expired leases and 140,000 hectares are subject to overlapping claims.

Policy Papers & Briefs
September 2017
Mozambique

A mineração artesanal, vulgarmente conhecida como garimpo, constituiu uma actividade de extracção de minérios, realizada com tecnologia rudimentar e sem equipamentos de sondagem, requerendo, por isso, o investimento de pouco capital. A mineração artesanal é, normalmente, realizada na informalidade, na maioria dos casos sem licença de exploração, num processo por vezes itinerante e realizado por grupos independentes.