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Farming and Food in Africa and the Mounting Battle over Land, Water and Resource Rights | GREAT Insights 3(1)

Africa is being heralded as the new frontier for commercial farming but, as governments and investors sign deals, a counter-movement of family farmers is promoting alternative pathways to development. The International Year of Family Farming is now underway, and never before have family farmers in Africa been more under threat. Large land deals between African governments and usually foreign (and sometimes domestic) investors have seen swathes of the countryside leased or concessioned, often for as much as 50 to 99 years. From Senegal in West Africa to Ethiopia in the Horn, and down to Mozambique in the South, land considered ‘idle’ and available has changed hands, with profound implications for local people and the environment. The ‘land grab’ raises questions not only about land rights and transparency in investment, but also what constitutes inclusive agricultural development and how to bring it about. With growing urgency among development institutions globally to arrive at agreement on how to stop land grabs while still promoting investment, the stakes are high.

Source Ruth Hall (PLAAS)

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