UN calls for guidelines on land-grabbing.
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says it plans
to present international guidelines to protect developing-nation
populations from perceived 'neo-colonial land-grabbing' by
foreign governments and private corporations. The FAO is disturbed by
the growing trend of private investors or governments buying up farm
projects beyond their borders, either as part of a strategy to secure
basic food supplies or simply for profit. Large-scale acquisitions of
farmland have been seen in Africa, Latin America and Central and
Southeast Asia. China and Arab countries have been most active in their
quest for greater food security and savings on grain purchases. The FAO
and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
acknowledge that cross-border farmland deals can help to boost global
food security, provide investment in agriculture in developing
countries, and raise farm production, exports and provide jobs.
Backlash, however, has come in criticism of the way poor farmers are
deprived of their farmland when foreign investors move in.