Soaring food and fuel prices and the instability of global financial markets have prompted agri-businesses, investment banks, and food- and energy-hungry nations to secure resources in countries where land is available, or is made available, for investment.
In Kenya, the total land area of the country is 58 million hectares (ha), of which only around 10% is classified as arable land. As of January 2020, the Land Matrix had recorded a total of 14 concluded deals in the country, totalling 269 411 ha, or just 0.46% of the total land area.
Global concerns about fossil fuel prices and climate change have directed focus on prospects of biofuels. In Ghana, large-scale biofuel development has been entangled with several problems including disputes over land use and a combination of challenges such as low yield performance of Jatropha, food versus oilseed prices and financial viability issues.
Investment into large-scale agribusiness projects in African post-conflict states is framed within broader economic reforms. On their surface, these projects boast of attracting much-needed infrastructure development, providing employment and shifts from subsistence agriculture to formal wage labor, and raising GDP.
This article explores the question of political struggles for inclusion on an oil palm land deal in Ghana. It examines the employment dynamics and the everyday politics of rural wage workers on a transnational oil palm plantation which is located in a predominantly migrant and settler society where large-scale agricultural production has only been introduced within the past decade.
This country profile presents the Land Matrix data for Cambodia, detailing large-scale land acquisition (LSLA) transactions that:
• entail a transfer ofrights to use, control or own land through sale, lease or concession;
• have an intended size of 200 hectares (ha) or larger;
• have been concluded since the year 2000;
The rise of land deals poses unpredictable risks to war-torn societies, exposing them to the violent folds of the global economy. In Sierra Leone, commercial land leases have perpetuated the chieftaincy monopoly, further curtailed social mobility, and sparked particular resentment among youths and ex-combatants.
There is wide engagement with large-scale land deals in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly from the perspectives of development and international political economy. Recently, scholars have increasingly pointed to a gendered lacuna in this literature.
Facing land grabs and eviction in the name of development, women worldwide increasingly join land rights struggles despite often deeply engrained images of female domesticity and conventional gender norms. Yet, the literature on female agency in the context of land struggles has remained largely underexplored.
Much has been written on land deals, their impact and challenges of contestation in the Global South. Multiple studies show that communities are high-spirited as long as they oppose the actual conversion of their land.