Africa remains the largest target for land grabs, accounting for 42 percent of global deals with 10 million hectares under contract. Mozambique now ranks 18th among all target countries in area under contract, with 500,000 hectares in 60 concluded deals. That puts the country, which in the 2012 report was a top target in Africa, well behind Ethiopia, Ghana, and South Sudan, which have the most on the continent.
More than 1,000 large-scale foreign land deals are now under contract for agriculture covering more than 26 million hectares of land, according to a new report, “Land Matrix Analytical Report II: International Land Deals for Agriculture.” That area represents a remarkable two percent of arable land in the world.
The United States and United Kingdom remain among the leading investors in the amount of land under contract for agriculture. To the surprise of many, China remains a minor agricultural player in Africa.
An international campaign for Land Rights Now is focusing particular attention on women, indigenous communities, and others who do not have secure title to the land and are particularly vulnerable. Fundamentally, the responsibility lies with national governments to recognize communal and individual land rights and stop giving away land to foreign investors.