The world is increasingly hungry because small farmers are losing access to farmland. Small farmers produce most of the world’s food but are now squeezed onto less than 25 percent of the world’s farmland, a new report reveals. Corporate and commercial farms, big biofuel operations and land speculators are pushing millions off their land.
PepsiCo, the world’s second largest food and beverage manufacturer, has agreed to overhaul its longstanding policies around land rights, instituting a series of new safeguards and transparency pledges throughout its global supply chains.
Global trends towards a strengthening of legal rights over land for local and indigenous communities appear to have slowed significantly in recent years, leading some analysts to warn that the fight for local control over forests has reached an inflection point with a new danger of backtracking on previous progress.
Rodolfo Razão, an elderly small farmer in Mozambique, obtained an official land usage certificate for his 10 hectares in 2010, but he has only been able to use seven. The rest was occupied by a South African company that grows soy, maize and beans on some 10,000 hectares in the northeast of the country.
Lydia Njang, a widow and mother of five from Cameroon’s North West Region, has lost her farmland three times.
The U.S. and U.K. foreign assistance offices are being accused of ignoring, mischaracterising or downplaying testimony offered by ethnic communities in Ethiopia who accuse the Addis Ababa government of forcefully evicting them from their lands and violating their human rights in the name of mass development projects.
Under the leadership of Brazilian Director General (DG) José Graziano da Silva, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has been engaged in a process of deep reform meant to make the organisation leaner and more effective in the fight against hunger.
After coming under fire from environmental and social justice organisations for violations of land protection laws, Herakles Farms, a New York-based agricultural company, has suspended a large, controversial palm oil project in Cameroon.
The World Bank will be placing stronger emphasis on issues of land tenure and socially and environmentally sustainable agricultural investing, it announced Monday.
From January 2013, Tanzania will start restricting the size of land that single large-scale foreign and local investors can “lease” for agricultural use. The decision follows both local and international criticism that major investors are grabbing large chunks of land here, often displacing small-scale farmers and local communities.