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Land Deal Brief: The Role of Development Agencies

December 6, 2011


Oakland Institute’s (OI) investigation into over 50 land investments deals in seven African countries highlights the role played by a wide range of international development agencies, multilateral institutions, and so-called “socially responsible” investment funds. While using the language of aid organizations these institutions speak of “helping Africa feed itself,” “improved food security,” “livelihood creation,” and “sustainable environmental policies.” However a closer look at their agenda and policy prescriptions, and an investigation into the reality on the ground reveals otherwise. Even with growing evidence that the current African land grab is displacing small farmers, indigenous communities, and threatening food and water security, US and international development agencies continue to push for foreign agricultural land investment. This brief explores this issue further.