News, Analysis and research on Land Reform and Agrarian Change around the world
Sam Moyo The author is grateful for the research support provided by Ndabezinhle Nyoni, Walter Chambati, Charity Dangwa, Kingstone Mujeyi and Dumisani Siziba. Funding from the Norwegian Embassy and CIDA enabled the research. The author would also like to thank the very helpful anonymous reviewers.
ABSTRACT Shalmali Guttal looks at shifts in agriculture policy in Cambodia and Laos as governments aim to transform the structures of their agriculture towards greater commercialization and markets. She argues this has far reaching impacts on rural social structures, and rural peoples’ access to land and security of tenure.
KEYWORDS extractive development; biodiversity; farmers; monocrops; land acquisition
In their introduction to this journal issue, the Land Research Action Network warns that a new global wave of land grabbing is underway. The current trend of investments is triggered by the interrelated crises in food, finance, energy and climate that have been spurred by decades of corporate driven globalization, neo-liberal policy regimes and natural resource exploitation. They argue that one positive outcome of the multiple crises is a renewed interest among peoples, academics, entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers in alternative models of production, consumption and using energy and resources. They look forward to measures that will redistribute, protect and nurture land and water resources paving the way for a new framework of governance of land and the natural commons, which puts local communities in control of their own territories and livelihoods.
KEYWORDS privatization; world bank; IAASTD; biodiversity; eco system; livelihoods
“There can be no justifications for land grabbing!” social movements and CSOs tell World Bank, UN agencies and governments 17 April 2011
The reinvestment in agriculture, triggered by the 2008 food price crisis, is essential to the concrete realization of the right to food. However, in a context of ecological, food and energy crises, the most pressing issue regarding reinvestment is not how much, but how.
Recent protests in North Africa and the Middle East have been linked in part to rising food prices, which hit a record in January, according to the United Nations.
ABSTRACT Faustino Torrez summarizes the findings of the Agrarian Reform Commission of La Via Campesina, an international peasant movement that initiated the Global Campaign for Agrarian Reform.
KEYWORDS integral agrarian reform; World Bank; land grabbing; peasantry; food sovereignty
ABSTRACT Shalmali Guttal and Sofia Monsalve argue that climate change will mean a change in local knowledge and resilience, which are at the basis of good agricultural and ecosystem management. Before new ways are found, rural communities are likely to be rendered more vulnerable and dependent on external inputs and techniques, and lose precious local knowledge about food, medicinal plants, soil, water and coastal management, and forest and biodiversity protection. Therefore, public policies and resources must be redirected towards supporting land use and agricultural practices that cool the planet, nurture biodiversity and save energy. These policies will check global warming, achieve food sovereignty and reduce distress out-migration from rural to urban areas.
KEYWORDS commons; agribusiness; agrofuels; biodiversity; local knowledge; smallhold producers