Alternatives to land acquisitions: Agricultural investment and collaborative business models
Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in private-sector investment in agriculture. Some have welcomed this trend as a bearer of new livelihood opportunities in lower and middle-income countries. Others have raised concerns about the possible social impacts, including loss of local rights to land, water and other natural resources; threats to local food security; and, more generally, the risk that large-scale investments may marginalise family farmers. The recent debates about “land grabbing” – whereby investors acquire large areas of land in lower- and middle-income countries – illustrate these trends and positions.
There is great demand for insights on how to structure agricultural investments in ways that leave land and share value with local farmers and communities. And in many parts of the world, there is growing experience with models for structuring agricultural investments other than large-scale land acquisitions.
This publication captures the highlights of the international workshop “Agricultural investment and more inclusive business models”, which took place in Maputo in March 2010. At the workshop, farmers’ organisations, agribusiness, government and civil society came together to share lessons from practical experience. The publication makes the insights gained from this exchange available to a wider audience.