Voices from the people on land deals

largescale500A new book co-authored by Future Agricultures researchers presents case studies of large-scale land deals in Southern Africa. It aims to provide an accessible and vivid window into the lived realities and responses of rural people who are affected by such deals.

The book, Large-Scale Land Deals in Southern Africa: Voices of the People, pays particular attention to what local people say, and have quoted their experiences and responses to the land deals.

Large-Scale Land Deals in Southern Africa: Voices of the People (free download)

The book shares insights from a joint project, entitled Commercialisation of Land and ‘Land Grabbing’ in Southern Africa: Implications for Land Rights and Livelihoods in Southern Africa, involved not only documenting what was happening on the ground but also action research, together with the communities, in negotiations, lobbying and meetings with investors and with government institutions.

It is an action research project implemented by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, in partnership with non-governmental organisations in five Southern African countries: LandNet in Malawi, Kuwuka Juventude Desenvolvimento e Advocacia Ambiental in Mozambique, Legal Assistance Centre in Namibia, Zambia Land Alliance in Zambia and Ruzivo Trust in Zimbabwe.

The authors hope that this book, its case studies and the testimonies from the people affected, will prove to be a useful resource to popularise knowledge of big commercial land deals in the region, among policymakers, activists, farmers’ organisations and other civil society bodies. It can be used to debate why land deals are happening, how they affect rural communities, and the gaps in national laws, policies and institutions that govern land rights. It is hoped that reading this book, and using it in training and workshops, will help to strengthen activism and advocacy for just land laws and policies, and their full and transparent implementation.