A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore”1

June 24, 2013

According to the project conducted by Land Matrix2––an international land transaction initiative to monitor farmland acquisitions and leases by foreign investors worldwide––the episode of farmland purchases in LDCs by international buyers might be half as large as was previously estimated. Large-scale land transactions involve 79.8 million acres implicating 756 agreements or contracts, against an estimate of 205.5 million acres for a total of 1,217 transactions in 2012. The Land Matrix researchers support these figures by explaining they can now better differentiate between “planned transactions, finalized transactions and unsuccessful transactions.”

Land Matrix could thus become a meaningful tool to address the lack of transparency that still shroud large-scale land transactions; yet the developers themselves admit that, for the time being, this represents an incomplete accounting method. The estimates presented suffer mostly from the lack of transparency and scarcity of data concerning the land-grabbing trend that has been escalating exponentially since the 2000s.

While this slowdown can be observed in the LDCs, land acquisitions are continuing in other geographical areas, though Africa is attracting the largest number of purchasers. For instance, Canada, Australia––Qatar acquired 55 million acres in Australia––Ukraine and Romania have released large areas of land.

The whole concept of land grabbing must be treated carefully since defining land purchases can vary according to investors’ strategies, from unscrupulous speculators to nations concerned about their food supplies… While land purchases can be a path to undermine the food security of vulnerable people, they can also represent valuable agricultural investments.

In addition, some investment or pension funds are adopting new strategies by selecting innovative means to supervise agricultural output through contract farming.

The increased geopolitical tensions since the 2007-08 turmoil, speculative distorting practices in increasingly financialized agricultural markets, lack of transparency, and some nations’ corrupt procedures and absence of governance system allow land grabbers to act with impunity. Consequently, it is now urgent to implement the global regulation of such phenomenon. While the international community partially works to that end––we note the Voluntary Guidelines approved by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012 that prove the need for land regulation framework––the path toward an agricultural and food governance system at a global level still seems a problematic issue.

1 Mark Twain
2 http://www.landmatrix.org/
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Paris, 15 December 2018