Failed farmland deals: a growing legacy of disaster and pain

June 2018

GRAIN has documented at least 135 farmland deals for food crop production that have backfired between 2007 and 2017. They represent 17.5 million hectares. These are not failed land grabs, since the land almost never goes back to the communities, but failed agribusiness projects. While higher standards of due diligence and stronger forms of liability are surely needed, the real challenge is to get the land back to the communities. No one should rest until that is achieved. The enormity and number of these failed farmland deals tell us that they should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. Investment is needed in policies and initiatives to support food production by local communities, not opening the doors to agribusiness.