Land grab or development opportunity? Agricultural investment and international land deals in Africa

June 2009
Lorenzo Cotula, Sonja Vermeulen, Rebeca Leonard and James Keeley (IIED, FAO and IFAD)

Despite the spate of media reports, international land deals and their impacts remain little understood. The report discusses key trends and drivers in land acquisitions, the contractual arrangements underpinning them and the way these are negotiated, and the early impacts on land access for rural people in recipient countries. The focus is on sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Sudan, Mozambique and Tanzania. Concludes with recommendations for stakeholders.