India Among Top 10 Land Grabbers

Via The Times of India, a report detailing India’s hunger for arable land overseas.  As the article notes:

India is among the top 10 nations to acquire land in both domestic and transnational deals, according to a report released this month by the Washington-based World Watch Institute (WWI). It lists India as a big investor in land globally and among the top ‘land grabbers’ because what is acquired is agricultural land.

The data has been sourced from an international coalition of NGOs and research groups called the Land Matrix project who have published the world’s largest database of land deals struck since 2000. Around 70.2 million hectares of agricultural land worldwide have been sold or leased to private and public investors since 2000.

Of the 82 listed investor countries in the database, Brazil, India, and China account for 16.5 million ha, or around 24% of the total hectares sold or leased worldwide. India has acquired around 3.2 million ha from East Africa, mainly Ethiopia and Madagascar and 2.1 million ha from southeast Asia (Indonesia and Lao People’s Republic).

Interestingly, India is also among top 10 countries where land has been acquired by other nations. As per the report, around 4.6 million ha land has been acquired from India in 113 separate deals.

WWI in its report dubs it ‘land grab’ because it refers to the large-scale purchase of agricultural land by public or private investors.

Agricultural land grab is likely to have a huge impact not just on ecology but also livelihoods of communities in these countries, according to the report.

“In many cases, the deals displace local farmers who already occupy and farm the land, but who frequently lack formal land rights or access to legal institutions to defend these rights,” says authors of the report.

Simpreet Singh of National Alliance of People’s Movements feels that the trend is alarming. “In the last few years India has been part several huge land deals. This is usually considered as the arrival of India in the global scenario. But it is a kind of neo-colonialism.”

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About This Blog And Its Author
Seeds Of A Revolution is committed to defining the disruptive geopolitics of the global Farms Race.  Due to the convergence of a growing world population, increased water scarcity, and a decrease in arable land & nutrient-rich soil, a spike of international investment interest in agricultural is inevitable and apt to bring a heretofore domestic industry into a truly global realm.  Whether this transition involves global land leases or acquisitions, the fundamental need for food & the protectionist feelings this need can give rise to is highly likely to cause such transactions to move quickly into the geopolitical realm.  It is this disruptive change, and the potential for a global farms race, that Seeds Of A Revolution tracks, analyzes, and forecasts.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has long held a keen interest in natural resource policy and the geopolitical implications of anticipated stresses in the areas of freshwater scarcity, biodiversity reserves & parks, and farm land.  Monty has lived, worked, and traveled in more than forty countries spanning Africa, China, western Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast & Central Asia, and his personal interests comprise economic development, policy, investment, technology, natural resources, and the environment, with a particular focus on globalization’s impact upon these subject areas.  Monty writes about freshwater scarcity issues at and frontier investment markets at