Acquiring Land Abroad for Agricultural Purposes: ‘Land Grab’ or Agri-FDI? Report of the Surrey International Law Centre and Environmental Regulatory Research Group

Surrey Law Working Paper No. 08/2011

20 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2011 Last revised: 16 Jan 2015

Antoine Martin

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law

Mulugeta Mengist Ayalew

African Climate Policy Center (ACPC), UNECA

Date Written: March 17, 2011

Abstract

Following the 2008 world food crisis, many international investors have engaged in a race for land acquisition and food production. This new form of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is increasingly criticised in the public sphere, which commonly refers to it as a ‘land grab.’

In the absence of consequent primary sources relating to the subject matter, however, this working document provides an overview of what the authors describe as an ‘agri-FDI’ trend, based on the cross analysis of secondary sources. It first draws a geographical map of the trend as a means to emphasise who invests and where. Second, it considers the origins of the trend are, including the 2008 food crises and the impact of increased demand for biofuel. This document, overall, constitutes the basis of a forthcoming paper which, in turn, will formulate hypotheses and questions as to whether agriculture-oriented investments differ from traditional FDI.

Keywords: agriculture, foreign direct investments, fdi, land grab, agri-FDI, Africa, food, food security, biofuel, food crisis

Suggested Citation

Martin, Antoine and Ayalew, Mulugeta Mengist, Acquiring Land Abroad for Agricultural Purposes: ‘Land Grab’ or Agri-FDI? Report of the Surrey International Law Centre and Environmental Regulatory Research Group (March 17, 2011). Surrey Law Working Paper No. 08/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1788948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1788948

Antoine Martin (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law ( email )

6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
Shatin, New Territories
Kowloon, Sha Tin
Hong Kong

Mulugeta Mengist Ayalew

African Climate Policy Center (ACPC), UNECA ( email )

Ethiopia

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