Land

While land grabbing has been going on since ages, today's massive assault on fertile farmland by investors, speculators and food and biofuel corporations is something big and new. Over the past ten years, ever since GRAIN first exposed the issue and put it on the global agenda, land grabbing has become one of our most active areas of work. 

GRAIN's contribution takes the form of research, information and outreach work. We also support the struggles of different civil society organisations against corporate land deals, especially in Asia and Africa. We do so mainly through capacity building, strategy development and alliance building together with partners that aim to turn the tide. 

TIAA and Harvard’s Brazilian farm deals judged illegal

Two of Brazil's top public authorities on land in the Cerrado have dealt a major blow to the efforts of foreign companies to take over the region's farmlands. These judgements are detailed in a new report by AATR, Rede Social and GRAIN, as well as how fires are once again ravaging large areas of forests on TIAA and Harvard's Brazilian farms, exacerbating the climate crisis.

Two of Brazil's top public authorities on land in the Cerrado have dealt a major blow to the efforts of foreign companies to take over the region's farmlands. These judgements are detailed in a new report by AATR, Rede Social and GRAIN, as well as how fires are once again ravaging large areas of forests on TIAA and Harvard's Brazilian farms, exacerbating the climate crisis.

From political coup to land destruction in Brazil

The so-called “Land Grabbers’ Act” not only authorizes the immediate regularization of some 40 million hectares of federal public land, but also vitiates the nation’s agrarian reform policy and facilitates the introduction of illegal settlements into the land market, resulting in a genuine agrarian counter-reform.

The so-called “Land Grabbers’ Act” not only authorizes the immediate regularization of some 40 million hectares of federal public land, but also vitiates the nation’s agrarian reform policy and facilitates the introduction of illegal settlements into the land market, resulting in a genuine agrarian counter-reform.

Digital fences: the financial enclosure of farmlands in South America

In all the countries studied in this report, the georeferenced cadastres became a requirement both for the land regularisation process and to access other public and credit policies in the financial system for rural properties. This trend to digitise land governance and the natural resources linked to it, is being reinforced by the World Bank: it has allocated USD 45.5 million for the registration of the Brazilian Cerrado’s private rural properties in the rural environmental cadastre and has also assigned USD 100 million to the multi-purpose cadastre in Colombia.

In all the countries studied in this report, the georeferenced cadastres became a requirement both for the land regularisation process and to access other public and credit policies in the financial system for rural properties. This trend to digitise land governance and the natural resources linked to it, is being reinforced by the World Bank: it has allocated USD 45.5 million for the registration of the Brazilian Cerrado’s private rural properties in the rural environmental cadastre and has also assigned USD 100 million to the multi-purpose cadastre in Colombia.

Land grabs at gunpoint: Thousands of families are being violently evicted from their farms to make way for foreign-owned plantations in Kiryandongo, Uganda

Three multinational companies – Agilis Partners, Kiryandongo Sugar Limited and Great Season SMC Limited – are involved in grabbing land, violently evicting people from their homes and causing untold humiliation and grief to thousands of farming families residing in Kiryandongo district, Uganda. The land grabs are happening on abandoned national ranches, which have long since been settled and farmed by people who came to the area fleeing war and natural calamities in neighbouring areas. The local people are being displaced without notice, alternatives or even negotiations and are now desperately trying to save their homes and lives.

Three multinational companies – Agilis Partners, Kiryandongo Sugar Limited and Great Season SMC Limited – are involved in grabbing land, violently evicting people from their homes and causing untold humiliation and grief to thousands of farming families residing in Kiryandongo district, Uganda. The land grabs are happening on abandoned national ranches, which have long since been settled and farmed by people who came to the area fleeing war and natural calamities in neighbouring areas. The local people are being displaced without notice, alternatives or even negotiations and are now desperately trying to save their homes and lives.

Harvard's land grabs in Brazil are a disaster for communities and a warning to speculators

In an eight year period following the 2008 crisis, Harvard poured over US$1 billion into amassing a global portfolio of farmlands, covering nearly 1 million hectares across five continents. Harvard's farmland strategy took it deep into some of the most conflictual places on the planet when it comes to land and the environment.

In an eight year period following the 2008 crisis, Harvard poured over US$1 billion into amassing a global portfolio of farmlands, covering nearly 1 million hectares across five continents. Harvard's farmland strategy took it deep into some of the most conflictual places on the planet when it comes to land and the environment.

The misnamed “Mayan Train” : Multimodal land grabbing

We now know that the proposed Mayan Train is far more than a rail line. It consists of a web of diverse projects, together making up what amounts to a giant “special economic zone.” New hubs for programs, projects, grants, competitive bidding, public policy, and investment will spring up in the five Mexican states involved — Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. There has already been land grabbing, deforestation, devastation, poisoning, and environmental degradation, and there will likely be forced population displacement as well. The 181,000-km2 peninsula is being reconfigured as a region of extractive projects, multimodal land and resource monopolization, and maquiladoras.

We now know that the proposed Mayan Train is far more than a rail line. It consists of a web of diverse projects, together making up what amounts to a giant “special economic zone.” New hubs for programs, projects, grants, competitive bidding, public policy, and investment will spring up in the five Mexican states involved — Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. There has already been land grabbing, deforestation, devastation, poisoning, and environmental degradation, and there will likely be forced population displacement as well. The 181,000-km2 peninsula is being reconfigured as a region of extractive projects, multimodal land and resource monopolization, and maquiladoras.

Harvard and TIAA's farmland grab in Brazil goes up in smoke

Brazil is smouldering, still. The surge of fires that raged across the Amazon in July and August has now spread to the country's biodiverse savanna lands in the Cerrado, where the number of fires in September was double what it was a year ago.

Brazil is smouldering, still. The surge of fires that raged across the Amazon in July and August has now spread to the country's biodiverse savanna lands in the Cerrado, where the number of fires in September was double what it was a year ago.

Communities in Africa fight back against the land grab for palm oil

Over the past decade, agribusiness companies have been increasing their production of palm oil to meet a growing global demand for cheap vegetable oil that gets used in the production of processed foods, biofuels and cosmetics. Community lands in many African countries are a main target for the expansion of their plantations. But the communities are fighting back

Over the past decade, agribusiness companies have been increasing their production of palm oil to meet a growing global demand for cheap vegetable oil that gets used in the production of processed foods, biofuels and cosmetics. Community lands in many African countries are a main target for the expansion of their plantations. But the communities are fighting back

RCEP trade deal will intensify land grabbing in Asia

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed mega-trade agreement that involves 10 countries of Southeast Asia and six of their trading partners. If adopted, it will be the biggest trade deal in the world. RCEP will not just change rules on the export and import of goods and services; it will change how governments decide on rights to land and who has access to it. Therefore, it has the potential to increase land grabbing across Asia – already a huge problem in this region. The implications are far-reaching, with millions of farmers' and fisherfolks' livelihoods at stake in RCEP member countries where the population is struggling to feed itself.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed mega-trade agreement that involves 10 countries of Southeast Asia and six of their trading partners. If adopted, it will be the biggest trade deal in the world. RCEP will not just change rules on the export and import of goods and services; it will change how governments decide on rights to land and who has access to it. Therefore, it has the potential to increase land grabbing across Asia – already a huge problem in this region. The implications are far-reaching, with millions of farmers' and fisherfolks' livelihoods at stake in RCEP member countries where the population is struggling to feed itself.

Karuturi Global's new land deal in Ethiopia must be scrapped

Two years ago, indigenous communities in Gambella, Ethiopia, celebrated the departure of the Indian company Karuturi Global, after its contract for a 300,000 hectares agribusiness project was finally cancelled.1 But a diplomatic intervention by the Indian government and law suits filed by the company appear to have pushed Ethiopian authorities to backtrack and offer a new lease, this time for 15,000 hectares. Once again, the local communities have not been consulted, and a coalition of groups is now urgently calling on the local authorities to put a stop to the process.

Two years ago, indigenous communities in Gambella, Ethiopia, celebrated the departure of the Indian company Karuturi Global, after its contract for a 300,000 hectares agribusiness project was finally cancelled.1 But a diplomatic intervention by the Indian government and law suits filed by the company appear to have pushed Ethiopian authorities to backtrack and offer a new lease, this time for 15,000 hectares. Once again, the local communities have not been consulted, and a coalition of groups is now urgently calling on the local authorities to put a stop to the process.

What justice for local communities affected by SOCFIN plantations?

An action of solidarity with the communities affected by SOCFIN's plantations in Africa and Asia was carried out in Luxembourg today during the multinational's General Assembly. About ten activists participated in the GA to denounce the situation and demand immediate action.

An action of solidarity with the communities affected by SOCFIN's plantations in Africa and Asia was carried out in Luxembourg today during the multinational's General Assembly. About ten activists participated in the GA to denounce the situation and demand immediate action.

Booklet: 12 tactics palm oil companies use to grab community land

Oil palm plantation companies use very similar tactics wherever they operate to try and take over the land of communities. Knowing that they can count on high-level politicians and state authorities for support, the companies routinely make promises they do not intend to keep, try to silence and marginalise opposition to their plans and divide communities.

Oil palm plantation companies use very similar tactics wherever they operate to try and take over the land of communities. Knowing that they can count on high-level politicians and state authorities for support, the companies routinely make promises they do not intend to keep, try to silence and marginalise opposition to their plans and divide communities.

Violent tensions at Feronia's oil palm plantations in the DR Congo

This Saturday military forces fired live bullets at villagers within the Lokutu oil palm plantation concession area of the Canadian company Feronia Inc, following weeks of growing tension between communities and the company.

This Saturday military forces fired live bullets at villagers within the Lokutu oil palm plantation concession area of the Canadian company Feronia Inc, following weeks of growing tension between communities and the company.

Breaking the silence: Industrial oil palm and rubber plantations bring harassment, sexual violence and abuse against women

On the 8th of March - International Women's Day – we join women across the world who are affected by the violent expansion of industrial oil palm and rubber plantations and who are calling for action to stop the harassment, sexual violence and abuse against women in and around industrial oil palm and rubber plantations IMMEDIATELY!

On the 8th of March - International Women's Day – we join women across the world who are affected by the violent expansion of industrial oil palm and rubber plantations and who are calling for action to stop the harassment, sexual violence and abuse against women in and around industrial oil palm and rubber plantations IMMEDIATELY!