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Goods and bads, causes and implications of land grabs - Essay Example

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The issue has been an issue of great concern in the whole world and more so in the areas where large tracks of land have remained unused. The developing countries, especially in…
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Goods and bads, causes and implications of land grabs
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Land Grabbing: Effects and Implications al Affiliation Land Grabbing: Effects and Implications Land grabbing refers tothe illegal acquisition of private or public land for individual benefits. The issue has been an issue of great concern in the whole world and more so in the areas where large tracks of land have remained unused. The developing countries, especially in Africa have suffered largely from land grabbing. Initially, the traditional community ownership of land was negatively affected by the scrabble and partitioning of the continent ushering in the colonialism era (Braun & Meinzen-Dick, 2009). However, modern grabbing has been going on even after independence in most of these countries.
The proliferative grabbing and acquisition of farming land in the developing countries is one major effect of the food crisis of 2007-08. During this time, the world experienced an increased pressure on the existing natural resources. Coupled with the international export restrictions imposed by major food producers in the world, as well as water scarcity, , the pressure resulted in countries having shortage in the arable land. The governments, as well as individuals, wanted to have enough investment injected into agriculture. Those in power, therefore, sought to increase their economic advantage through land grabbing and illegal acquisition of farmland.
The global land rush of the 21st century is, however, different from the land acquisition in the colonial era. Despite being relatively similar in the general process of the perpetrators, the specific drive for the acquisition is different. The process of acquisition in both cases appear to entail the identification of unclaimed land, probably belonging to communities or groups and using it for personal benefits. However, the colonial acquisition of African land was politically driven. The drive that resulted in the success of partitioning and acquisition relied on the ignorance of the people and the compulsion that civilization and religion would impact on the Africans to reduce resistance. This political move was also related to the demonstration of power between the European countries. The acquisition in the twenty-first century, on the other hand, was related to the need for economic power.
The farm owners and farmers in the developing countries suffer the ills of land grabbing. Most of them, especially those in need of land to produce their own food expects their respective governments to solve the land crisis in a way that will end the vice and lead to improved food security. However, in most of these countries, the political leadership is unwilling to tackle the issue. This is mainly because most of the leaders expected to be on the forefront in the fight are either suspects in the land scandals or partners and friends in the same.
Land grabbing and illegal acquisition is a vice that has affected the whole world. The importance of land in food production and economic growth cannot be overstated. When large tracts of land are grabbed and sued for commercial and non-food farming, there is depletion of water and resources necessary to produce food. This results in food crisis as the leaders and political instigators of the problem remain to enjoy the economic benefits of the production from grabbed land. Until the leadership in the developing countries is clean of the scandals, the local farmers will remain to suffer frustrations.
References
Braun, J., & Meinzen-Dick, R. (2009). “Land Grabbing” by Foreign Investors in Developing Countries: Risks and Opportunities. IFPRI Policy Brief 13. April 2009. Read More
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