In Brief 23
Rural development: Large-Scale Land Investements
One of the lingering effects of the 2007-08 food price crisis is the proliferating acquisition of farmland in developing countries by other countries or private investors seeking to produce food, feed or fuel mainly for export. (2011)
In 2011, farmers in two regions where Welthungerhilfe supports rural development and food security projects were affected by large-scale land investments: in Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia, and in Pujehun District, Sierra Leone. In the majority of villages, the land deals were initiated without prior information and consultation with the local land users. Even though still at a very early stage, the land investments have already initiated rapid transformations of rural livelihoods in areas so far not touched by large-scale commercial farming. In an environment characterized by poor governance, weak tenure security and vast power imbalances, local men and women’s scope of action to anticipate or least influence such “investor- driven development processes” are limited, making beneficial comes for them unlikely. For development actors, these observations put further importance to the question how resource poor rural women and men can be supported to actively, freely and meaningfully participate in rural transformation processes and to shape their own food and agriculture systems.
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