World Bank: Rising Global Interest in Farmland and the Importance of Responsible Agricultural Investment

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on September 9, 2010

News release: “There are one billion hungry people worldwide. The food and fuel price spike in mid-2008 and continuing price volatility have underscored the vulnerability of the world’s food system to shocks – such as the losses in crop production in the summer of 2010 that prompted Russia to ban wheat exports, leading to an increase in wheat prices of more than 70 percent in five weeks. These price spikes have had a number of repercussions, including a desire by countries dependent on food imports to secure food supplies in the face of uncertainty and market volatility, speculation on land and commodity price increases, and a search for alternative energy sources. These factors have prompted a sharp increase in investor interest in acquiring significant quantities of farmland, water, and forested areas in both developing and emerging countries.

  • “The report Rising Global Interest in Farmland: Can it Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits? responds to these issues. It reviews global trends of land expansion as well as empirical evidence on land acquisitions in 14 countries between 2004 and 2009: Brazil, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Liberia, Lao PDR, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, Sudan, Ukraine, and Zambia.”
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