Opinion: Food scarcity à la Wall Street
December 24th, 2011

Eric Holt-Gimenez argues that “Wall Street has been occupying our food system”, and this has had disastrous results. In 2008 and again in 2010, prices for staple crops like rice, wheat, and corn doubled and tripled, extending the grip of poverty and deprivation to hundreds of millions of people. Farming Matters | 27.4 | December … Read more

Locally rooted: Ideas and initiatives from the field
December 24th, 2011

Farmers’ access to land is greatly dependent on the laws and regulations on land ownership and land use in a country. But legislation is often not enough to ensure fair and equal distribution of property, whereby farmers can feel secure of their rights to the land they work. Here are some examples from different countries. … Read more

Mind! New in print
December 24th, 2011

Speciality crops for pacific islands / More on land grabbing Speciality crops for pacific islands C.R. Elevitch (ed.), 2011. Permanent Agriculture Resources. Holualoa, Hawaii. 558 pages. Read more Payments for ecosystem services and food security D. Ottaviani and N.E. Scialabba, 2011. FAO, Rome. 281 pages. Read more Food sovereignty: Reclaiming the global food system S. … Read more

What shade of green will Rio+20 provide
December 23rd, 2011

Twenty years ago, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many of the recommendations made in 1992 are still valid today. In June 2012 government delegations and numerous others will go to Rio again, to take stock of what has been achieved over the past twenty … Read more

Editorial – Planet for sale
December 22nd, 2011

Two hundred and twenty seven million hectares of land in developing countries – an area the size of Western Europe – has been sold or leased since 2001, mostly to international investors. The bulk of these land acquisitions have taken place over the past two years (see Oxfam Report: Land and Power). Think about this. … Read more

Globally connected: More issues to consider
December 22nd, 2011

Land can be seen as a farmer’s most precious resource, and access to land has been identified as a basic right. Ensuring these rights is particularly difficult at a time of climate, food, or economic crisis. What specific issues should be taken into account? Network colleagues shared some of their opinions. Munkhbolor Gungaa: “Joining hands … Read more

Opinion: Land is money
December 22nd, 2011

“Investments” in southern India have very negative consequences, says Suprabha Seshan. “In my immediate neighbourhood, a tea farm sells at 1 million rupees an acre. A few years ago it would have been a fifth of this price. Of course this means that rural people are leaving the countryside. They are leaving independent and stable … Read more

Clashing systems, common sense, and the “smart lane”
December 22nd, 2011

The enormous number of people living below the poverty line, the current food crisis and the land grabbing processes currently taking place throughout the world, show clearly that conventional economic wisdom does not always follow common sense. There are more than enough arguments for further developing the smart model of millions of small-scale farmers. Land … Read more

Land and power
December 22nd, 2011

The global food system is broken, according to Oxfam’s GROW campaign. Land grabs are a horrific symptom of this broken system. This is clearly presented in “Land and power: The growing scandal surrounding the new wave of investments in land”, the recently released Oxfam report. International investment plays a vital role in development and poverty … Read more

Our 2P approach
December 22nd, 2011

Land is more than a production resource. In the rural areas of countries like Nepal it determines an individual’s socio-economic status, and is therefore strongly related to power issues. Landlessness and insecure land ownership are the major causes of poverty, social injustice and food insecurity. Tackling these issues therefore means influencing policies in favour of … Read more