The result is that a small number of people are taking over more and more of the world's farmlands, and the water that goes with it, leaving everyone else with less, or none at all. As the world plunges deeper into a food crisis, these new farmland lords will hold sway over who gets to eat and who doesn't and who profits and who perishes within the food system.
The global farmland grab is only happening because people are pursuing it. The number of land grabbers is small, in contrast with the high number of people displaced by their actions. They are mostly men, often with experience working with agribusiness companies or banks. Some of them sit at high-levels of government and intergovernmental agencies, and sometimes at the highest levels. They operate out of the big financial centres of the world and often get together at farmland investor meetings, whether in Singapore, Zanzibar or New York City.
We think it might help the debate over land grabs to pull back the curtain a little on who these people are. So we've pieced together a slide show that tells about some of those who have been actively pursuing or supporting farmland grabs. It's an emblematic set of land grabbers, not a comprehensive one. Knowing who's invovled can also help us in pressuring the land grabbers to stop. Each landgrabber profile indicates who his or her friends are and provides resources for those who want further information or to pursue actions.
(For a previous profile of people grabbing land in Africa, see Meet the millionaires and billionaires suddenly buying tons of land in Africa, by Courtney Comstock, published by Business Insider, based on research by the Oakland Institute.)
Jose Minaya (US)
Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi (India)
Calvin Burgess (US)
C "Siva" Sivasankaran (India)
Neil Crowder (UK)
Michael Barton (UK)
Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia)
Eduardo Elsztain (Argentina)
Susan Payne (Canada)
Dr. Hatim Mukhtar (Saudi Arabia)
Theo De Jager (South Africa)
The World Bank Group
Antonio L. Tiu (Philippines)
Hou Weigui (China)
- Action for Large-scale Land Acquisition Transparency (ALLAT), a network of civil society organisations and landowner and user associations in Sierra Leone, created to monitor land investments throughout the country and to sensitize communities (email@example.com)
- Brot für Alle's report "Land grabbing: the dark side of 'sustainable' investments"
- Brazil's Comissão Pastoral da Terra
- Brazil's Landless Rural Workers' Movement/Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST)
- US Food Sovereignty Alliance
- US campaign to stop TIAA–CREF from investing in companies that proﬁt from the Israeli occupation
- Carlos Vinicius Xavier, Fábio T. Pitta and Maria Luisa Mendonça, "A monopoly in Ethanol production in Brazil: The Cosan–Shell merger", Milieudefensi and TNI, 2011.
- Anywaa Survival Organisation, a UK-based group supporting the Anywaa people of Gambela, Ethiopia
- Human Rights Watch report, "Waiting here for Death: Forced Displacement and 'Villagization' in Ethiopia’s Gambella Region"
- La Via Campesina South Asia
- Kick Dominion Farms out of Yala campaign: facebook ; online petition
- Good Fortune (film)
- United Small and Medium Farmers Associations of Nigeria
- Action for Large-Scale Land Acquisition Transparency (ALLAT), a network of civil society organisations and landowner and user associations in Sierrra Leone created to monitor land investments throughout the country and to sensitise communities (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- La Via Campesina South Asia
- Coalition Coalition pour la Protection du Patrimoine Génétique Africain (COPAGEN) (contact: email@example.com)
- Anuak Justice Council
- Anywaa Survival Organisation, a UK-based group supporting the Anywaa peoples of Gambela, Ethiopia.
- Human Rights Watch report, "'Waiting Here for Death’: Forced Displacement and ‘Villagization’ in Ethiopia’s Gambella Region”
- Anyuak Media
- Survival International has a letter writing campaign to support the Omo Valley tribes affected by large-scale agriculture projects
- Visit the farmlandgrab.org pages on Cresud
- Sofía Gatica formed the Mothers of Ituzaingó with 16 others. In 2012 she received the Goldman Environmental Prize
- GRAIN: "Saudi investors poised to take control of rice production in Senegal and Mali?"
- Alliance paysanne « Stop aux accaparement des terres »
- Ligue Panafricaine du Congo - UMOJA (LPC-U)
- Landless Peoples Movement (South Africa)
- Ruth Hall's paper "The next Great Trek? South African commercial farmers move north"
- World Bank section at farmlandgrab.org
- Friends of the Earth International's campaign to stop land grabbing has a focus on land grabs in Uganda in which the World Bank has been involved.
The latest from GRAIN
- The G8 and land grabs in Africa11 March 2013
- Land ceilings: reining in land grabbers or dumbing down the debate?28 February 2013
- Land grabbing for biofuels must stop21 February 2013
- Interview with GRAIN on the ProSavana project14 December 2012
- Brazilian megaproject in Mozambique set to displace millions of peasants29 November 2012
The latest from the bulletin board
- Tunis social forum: the climate space15 March 2013
- USA: The meat industry now consumes four-fifths of all antibiotics28 February 2013
- And now.... GM potatoes in Peru?01 February 2013
- Nestlégate: Court convicts Nestle of "spying" on Swiss activists30 January 2013
- Watergrabbing..... and waste!15 January 2013
- bilaterals.org ("everything that's not happening at the WTO")
- biodiversidadla.org (Latin American site on biodiversity and food sovereignty)
- farmlandgrab.org (food crisis and the global land grab)
- soberaniaalimentaria.info (Spanish magazine on food sovereignty)