From Land Grab to Win-Win
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From Land Grab to Win-Win

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Foreign acquisitions of farmland in Africa and elsewhere have become the focus of concern. Many observers consider them a new form of colonialism that threatens food security of the poor. David Hallam ...

Foreign acquisitions of farmland in Africa and elsewhere have become the focus of concern. Many observers consider them a new form of colonialism that threatens food security of the poor. David Hallam argues that investments could be good news if the objectives of land purchasers are reconciled with the investment needs of developing countries.

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From Land Grab to Win-Win From Land Grab to Win-Win Presentation Transcript

  • International Investments in Agricultural Production David Hallam Deputy Director, Trade and Markets Division, FAO Presentation at the international conference “Land Grab: The Race to the World’s Farmland”, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, 5 May 2009
  • Outline
    • Trends and patterns of investments
    • Motivations for investments
    • Impacts of investments
    • Policy implications
    • Outstanding issues
  • Trends and patterns
    • Not a new development but increasing trend
    • Focus of investments: agricultural production
    • Investors: mostly private sector, but governments involved
    • Investing countries: Gulf States, China, Republic of Korea
    • Destinations of investments: Africa, also Latin America
    • Nature of investments: land acquisitions
    • Size of investments: large
  • Motivations – Investing countries
    • Differs between type of investor
    • Food security
      • Natural resource constraints – land and water
      • Waning trust in international food markets
    • Biofuel production
    • Portfolio diversification
  • Motivations – Host countries
    • Need for investment
    • Financial gains of asset transfers rather small...
    • ...but broader developmental benefits
  • ODA to agriculture
  • Impacts of international investments
    • Economic, political, social and environmental impacts
    • Potential positive effects of investments
      • Technology transfers and employment creation
      • Food production and food security
      • Diversification and development of value-added production
    • Potential negative effects of investments
      • Social rights issues
      • Transparency, governance issues and sovereignty
      • Environmental issues
    • Overall mixed record on foreign direct investment in agriculture
  • How to achieve a win-win situation?
    • Onus mostly on host countries
    • Encourage inward investment
    • Create receptive domestic sector
    • Improve trade policy commitments
    • Increase consistency with food security strategies
    • Establish clear property rights
    • Limit adverse social and environmental impacts
    • Ensure land use rights and compensate stakeholders
  • Wider policy implications
    • International codes of conduct
    • Global corporate social responsibility
    • International investment agreements
    • Dispute settlement
    • WTO disciplines
  • Some outstanding issues
    • Investing country issues
      • Why direct land investments?
    • Host country issues
      • Policy and legal frameworks to minimize risks and maximize benefits
    • International issues
      • Reconcile interest of investors with investment needs of developing countries
  • More information
    • For more information, please visit:
    • http://www.fao.org/economic/es-policybriefs