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Land

land-foe The phrase ‘global land grab’ has become a catch-all phrase to describe and analyze the current explosion of (trans) national commercial land transactions. Around the world, various state, corporate and civil society groups have reacted, albeit in different ways.


Some see this as a major threat to the lives and livelihoods of the rural poor worldwide, and so opposes such commercial land deals. Others see economic opportunity for the rural poor, although they are wary of corruption and negative consequences, and so calls for the improving land market governance feature prominently. And, of course, between these two extremes for and against large scale land purchases/sales are a range of intermediate positions offered by other groups.

 

In this context, in-depth and systematic enquiry is urgently needed in order to have deeper, meaningful and productive debates around causes and implications. FAC research will study the extent, nature and impact of what we define as define as cross-border, large-scale land deals that involve changes in land use and land property relations – through land purchases, land leases, and contract farming.

Sustainable intensification: don't forget the politics

teaThe idea of 'sustainable intensification' has gained traction in recent years. But what does it mean for Africa?

In a new blog post, Ian Scoones argues that advocates of SI should pay more attention to social contexts and political choices about the direction of technology.

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New topic guide on Land published

land-odiA new topic guide on the subject of land, by Anna Locke (Future Agricultures Land theme) and Giles Henley, has been published. This is the latest in the Overseas Development Insitute’s 'Evidence on Demand' series.

It covers the following:

  • Growing interest in land: large-scale land acquisition
  • Reactions to rising interest in land at the national and international level
  • Land reform and policy: types, impacts and risks
  • Land in fragile and conflict-affected states
Evidence on Demand: Land Topic Guide
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Dams, flooding and displacement in Zimbabwe

tokwe-satelliteAhead of World Water Day 2014, Ian Scoones blogs on the fallout from recent dramatic flooding at the Tokwe Mukorsi dam in Zimbabwe.

The story highlights the links between water, energy and farming and what happens when plans go wrong. With displacements and relocations for some, and economic gains for others, it also raises questions about who wins and loses from big infrastructure projects.

Food Sovereignty: updates from the critical dialogues

foodsovereignty

The critical dialogues on food sovereignty held 14-15 September 2013 in Yale University, USA, and 24 January 2014 at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) brought together the world’s leading scholars and activists, both sympathetic and supportive of the idea of food sovereignty, as well as those highly skeptical of the concept. Resources from the two dialogues including videos, working papers, journal articles and photos are now available for download.

Food sovereignty resources

Food sovereignty dialogues resources

foodsovereigntyThe critical dialogues on food sovereignty held 14-15 September 2013 in Yale University, USA, and 24 January 2014 at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in the Hague have produced some excellent resources. The dialogues brought together the world’s leading scholars and activists, both sympathetic and supportive of the idea of food sovereignty, as well as those highly skeptical of the concept.
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Telling stories about scarcity

swaziland-queue‘Scarcity’ is a key term in debates about the global rush for land and other resources.

A new working paper from our project on Land and Agricultural Commercialisation in Africa looks at different narratives of scarcity related to the future of food and farming in Africa and globally, and finds that political questions – about distribution, needs, uses and social difference – are often ignored.

Narratives of scarcity: understanding the ‘global resource grab’ (pdf, 1.4MB)

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Food sovereignty: activism, scholarship and politics

http://www.future-agricultures.org/images/stories/foodsovereignty.jpgA ‘critical dialogue’ on food sovereignty took place on 24 January 2014 at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague. Two participants from Future Agricultures, Ian Scoones and Ruth Hall, have blogged about the event, looking at the relationship between food sovereignty movements and critical agrarian studies.

Food Sovereignty: a Critical Dialogue

food sovereigntyOn 24 January 2014, the event ‘Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue’ brought together sceptics and advocates of food sovereignty to discuss the future of this controversial idea in critical agrarian studies.

Ian Scoones chaired the opening keynote session of this event, held at the International Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands. Video from the event is being streamed live on the ISS website.

Blogs

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