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Foreign Investment in Farmland
Finance & Accounting
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Foreign Investment in Farmland: Good or bad? The issue that I have chosen is foreign investment in farmland, or what has been labeled “global land grabbing”. It has also been called outsourcing farming -- the leasing or buying of farmlands in developing countries by developed countries for th purpose of agricultural cultivation, whether for biofuels, food production, feedstock production, and the like.
The interrelated problems of over-industrialization, decades of poor land use policies, a rising population, scarcity of resources like water, and the skyrocketing prices of food have made governments in the developed parts of the world realise that they cannot feed their peoples with oil and asphalt, and therefore should seek out alternatives. Experts agree that something big is taking place and that there are risks involved to small-holder farmers. These fears revolved mainly but not exclusively around the themes of food insecurity and peasant dispossession. The disagreement is how to read the issue and what solutions are necessary in order to address the dangers. For organizations such as the World Bank, these are birth pains of a new but promising phenomenon, and whatever risks are taking place can be solved by corporate responsibility and efficient governance of land. This means making sure that there is no corruption, that small-holder farmers get to see the contracts to lease their land, that farmers are given titles so that they can transact freely and equally. The World Bank’s opinion on this matter is laid down in its recent publication, Rising Global Interest in Farmland: Can It Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits by the World Bank (2010). ...
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