Behind the mirage in the desert-customary land rights and the legal framework of land grabs

  • Kabia F
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Abstract

As of 2012, U.S. and foreign corporations have invested an estimated\r
fourteen billion dollars of private capital in farmland and agricultural\r
infrastructure.1 These investments reflect a trend of increasing land deals\r
worldwide that covers an area of nearly 1,148 million acres.2 Of this land,\r
approximately two-thirds were acquired in Africa.3 Africa therefore\r
appears to be at the center of this wave of investment.4 In West Africa\r
alone, there have been about 115 large-scale land deals in agriculture, with\r
the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia as some of the largest primary\r
and secondary investors.5\r
Social scientists attribute these large investments to impending food\r
security concerns; countries will soon require an increase in agricultural\r
output to meet the predicted demand.6 Others state more generally that\r
Africa is attractive to investors because of the perceived abundance of available\r
land and resources, as well as favorable fiscal and tax incentives.7\r
Based on the volume of these investments, scholars have likened the phenomenon\r
to a gold rush where investors— led by states, agribusinesses, and\r
private equity funds— move feverishly in pursuit of resources.

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  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-84926291733
  • SGR: 84926291733
  • ISSN: 0010-8812
  • PUI: 603561495

Authors

  • Fatmata S. Kabia

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