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

The rush for farmland goes global

December 8, 2014

The African continent is not really the prerogative for expansion strategies from major foreign agricultural powers. Europe––especially Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria––is increasingly exposed to the trend. For some observers, the actual long-term viability of the European food and agricultural model is at stake.

On November 4, 2014, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) organized a public hearing in Brussels on the issue of land grabbing in Europe and its consequences on family farming. One of the objectives was to present the European civil society’s proposals to face large scale land investments in the EU. The Committee indicated that in Romania, some 800,000 hectares (1.9 million acres), or six percent of the country’s land, belong to foreign investors.

Land purchases in France are also presenting a growing interest from nations such as China or Russia (for wine and milk) and from pension funds, thus generating fears of a deterioration of the transparency of regulation in rural markets, and of family farms, if the French agricultural output from such investors was to be exclusively shipped out of the country.

Lastly, in Quebec, Canada, agricultural organizations are actively denouncing the increased number of land acquisitions by investment firms at the expense of farmers. The Fédération de la Relève Agricole du Québec (FRAQ) recently launched a petition to call for the implementation of concrete measures to hinder such expansion.

Ultimately, the trend for both Europe and Canada is mostly the symptom of the “dis-agriculturization” with land purchases among other indicators. A more serious problem appears behind this trend. It relates to the crisis of an agricultural model that is subjected to uncontrolled liberalization, and imperiled by speculative distorting practices that can now affect the agricultural potential, which in Europe is already mismanaged by inadequate political choices.

More globally, the flare-up of geopolitical tensions since the 2007/08 crisis, the speculative practices in increasingly financialized agricultural markets, the opacity, the corruption and the lack of governance in some countries are letting “land grabbers” act with total impunity. As a result, it is now urgent to implement a global regulation of the trend. While the international community is somewhat mobilized in reaching this objective––we note the CFS Voluntary Directives in 2012 that testify to the need for land regulation frameworks––the road to global agricultural and food governance still seems to be a difficult one.

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Paris, 25 June 2019