Transnational Land Deals for Agriculture in the Global South

 

Drawing on the Land Matrix database, this paper contains an in depth analysis of large-scale agricultural land transactions that entail a transfer of rights to use, control or own land, that have been concluded since the year 2000. It particularly focuses on (i) land acquisitions or investments targeting the Global South and Eastern Europe; (ii) transnational deals, excluding deals where only domestic actors are involved;(iii) and deals where the envisioned land use is agricultural.

The report argues that – although it has lost some of its initial pace – the worldwide rush for land is real, going beyond just speculation and strategic positioning. According to the Land Matrix, a large number of contracts have been signed and are being implemented. Operations have started on several projects.

However, as the report shows, the “global land rush” is anything but a simple phenomenon. It involves a large number of target countries with very different investment conditions, as well as a great variety of actors with divers investment motives. Each land deal has its own specific characteristics. While the report gives an overall overview of the phenomenon, it also endeavours to present an in-depth picture of the different large-scale land transactions’ specificities.