The Financialization of Land and Agriculture: Mechanisms, Implications and Responses
22 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2017 Last revised: 16 Jul 2019
Date Written: February 13, 2017
Throughout the world, private equity funds, pension funds, special purpose vehicles and hedge funds are increasingly acquiring control over land and agribusinesses. Without underplaying the relevance of finance in shaping other sectors of the food system such as seeds and fertilizers, trade and retailing, this chapter focuses on the link between financial actors, farmland and agribusinesses. The aim is to offer a critical overview of the way in which financialization of land is taking place, what are its drivers and its main legal and socio-economic implications. However, this contribution recognizes that further investigation and debate is needed to fully grasp the link between finance, vertical and horizontal concentration in the food system and the impact on society and the environment. Section I introduces the reader to the topic of financialization and how it plays in the context of agri-food chains. Section II utilizes data and examples to discuss the specific case of the transformation of land into an asset for financial investment. In response, section III discusses possible legal interventions that may be adopted to redefine investment patterns and challenge the financialization of everything that can be found between farm and fork.
Keywords: financialization, land, agriculture, land grabbing, corporate social responsibility, food chains
JEL Classification: K11, K22, K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation