Panel 13: POLITICAL ECONOMY – Finance

The issue of land acquisitions in developing countries cannot be separated from finance. Investors, whether commercially or strategically oriented, are supplying the new demand that is eliciting supply, sparking great controversy along the way.

After setting out the context in terms of the key trends, this panel will explore the issue from a variety of perspectives. One paper looks at the drivers and impacts of land acquisitions in Brazil, while another examines the role of the IFC in facilitating large-scale investments. Our third paper charts the transition from small to large scale agricultural production and questions the assumption behind most investments that large-scale production is necessarily the most efficient. Intriguingly, the final paper also stresses the advantages of small-holder production, though this time from the perspective of a UK-based investor in land in Africa.

Chair: Stephen Spratt, IDS Sussex