’Land Grabs’ in Africa: Can the Deals Work for Development?

September 2009
Lorenzo Cotula and Sonja Vermeulen (IIED Briefing)

For many millions in the developing world, land is central to livelihoods, food security, even identity – the result of a direct dependence on agriculture and natural resources. It is not surprising that a recent wave of large-scale land acquisitions in Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America has sparked a major debate. The briefing provides an analysis of this complex and shifting situation, focusing on Africa. It lays out key trends, drivers and main features of international land deals, and suggests steps to make the renewed momentum in agricultural investment work for local development and livelihoods.