Land

While land grabbing has been going on since ages, today's massive assault on fertile farmland by investors, speculators and food and biofuel corporations is something big and new. Over the past ten years, ever since GRAIN first exposed the issue and put it on the global agenda, land grabbing has become one of our most active areas of work. 

GRAIN's contribution takes the form of research, information and outreach work. We also support the struggles of different civil society organisations against corporate land deals, especially in Asia and Africa. We do so mainly through capacity building, strategy development and alliance building together with partners that aim to turn the tide. 

A new wave of land grabs strikes Tanzania

Tanzania’s experience in the global land grab post-2008 led to shattered hopes, land conflicts & misery for small farmers. Yet, the current govt risks repeating history. A new report looks at this critical moment for Tanzania's small farmers & pastoralists.

Tanzania’s experience in the global land grab post-2008 led to shattered hopes, land conflicts & misery for small farmers. Yet, the current govt risks repeating history. A new report looks at this critical moment for Tanzania's small farmers & pastoralists.

US Agribusiness – African Agriculture Holdings – Threatens Land and Water Rights in West Africa

New York-based African Agriculture Holdings went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange on December 2023. This business venture plans to operate on over 2.9 million hectares in Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal to produce animal feed for export and sell carbon credits for corporations seeking to offset their CO2 emissions.

New York-based African Agriculture Holdings went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange on December 2023. This business venture plans to operate on over 2.9 million hectares in Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal to produce animal feed for export and sell carbon credits for corporations seeking to offset their CO2 emissions.

Agrarian reform and land tenure in Colombia

Land tenure is a fundamental issue in every country and Colombia is no exception. The way in which land ownership has been historically regulated and managed has a profound impact on the country's economy and the different ways of leading a dignified life in the various territories.

Land tenure is a fundamental issue in every country and Colombia is no exception. The way in which land ownership has been historically regulated and managed has a profound impact on the country's economy and the different ways of leading a dignified life in the various territories.

India’s oil palm grand plan: at what cost?

India is currently experiencing a major transformation in its oilseed sector, marked by ambitious plans to expand the cultivation of African oil palm. Yet this grand plan casts a shadow over the nation’s diverse oilseed crops, sounding alarms bells for farmers, public health and the environment.

India is currently experiencing a major transformation in its oilseed sector, marked by ambitious plans to expand the cultivation of African oil palm. Yet this grand plan casts a shadow over the nation’s diverse oilseed crops, sounding alarms bells for farmers, public health and the environment.

The Palestinian people have a right to their lives, land and sovereignty

Since decades, one of the many dimensions of Israel’s colonial project has been the destruction of Palestinian agriculture and fishing. Prior to October 2023, 35% of Gaza’s farmland lay within an “access restricted area” on the border with Israel. As a result, 113,000 farmers lost access to their lands located in this area.

Since decades, one of the many dimensions of Israel’s colonial project has been the destruction of Palestinian agriculture and fishing. Prior to October 2023, 35% of Gaza’s farmland lay within an “access restricted area” on the border with Israel. As a result, 113,000 farmers lost access to their lands located in this area.

San Isidro vs Amway

A Mexican ejido community, faced a protracted land dispute involving the illegal acquisition of 280 hectares by the US company Amway-Nutrilite. After an 80-year struggle, the Mexican government recognized the land as part of the ejido, but Amway returned only 120 hectares, leading to ongoing legal battles and community efforts to regain control of their territory.

A Mexican ejido community, faced a protracted land dispute involving the illegal acquisition of 280 hectares by the US company Amway-Nutrilite. After an 80-year struggle, the Mexican government recognized the land as part of the ejido, but Amway returned only 120 hectares, leading to ongoing legal battles and community efforts to regain control of their territory.

Squeezing communities dry: water grabbing by the global food industry

Pension fund managers, private equity firms and other financial players are moving aggressively to snatch up lands around the world with access to water for irrigation. Their strategy is to pump as much water as they can and as fast as they can into the production of crops, like fruits and nuts, that reap high prices in export markets.

Pension fund managers, private equity firms and other financial players are moving aggressively to snatch up lands around the world with access to water for irrigation. Their strategy is to pump as much water as they can and as fast as they can into the production of crops, like fruits and nuts, that reap high prices in export markets.

Persecution against rights defenders of the Afro-Ecuadorian commune of Barranquilla de San Javier

After months of judicial criminalisation of four peasants that defend their forest from the expansion of oil palm plantations, on 12 June a new possibility of justice will open up for the judges of the Ecuadorian courts to exonerate and free these people from the commune of Barranquilla de San Javier de Cachaví from all charges.

After months of judicial criminalisation of four peasants that defend their forest from the expansion of oil palm plantations, on 12 June a new possibility of justice will open up for the judges of the Ecuadorian courts to exonerate and free these people from the commune of Barranquilla de San Javier de Cachaví from all charges.

The avocados of wrath

Avocados are the world’s third-largest fruit commodity. Their production is taking up an ever-growing area and continually expanding into new countries. What are the implications? What forces are driving it? How does this model, working on both global and local scales, manage to keep prices high?

Avocados are the world’s third-largest fruit commodity. Their production is taking up an ever-growing area and continually expanding into new countries. What are the implications? What forces are driving it? How does this model, working on both global and local scales, manage to keep prices high?

The Brazilian state and agri-food corporations are condemned for ecocide of the Cerrado and genocide of its peoples

The ecocide being perpetrated against the Cerrado and the genocide of the Cerrado peoples are taking place in the context of the most persistent war of our time - and the most difficult to win - which is not between nation states. Rather, it is being waged against nature and the ‘peoples of nature’ by large corporations and the people who run them: the dominant minority, referred to as the “commodities people” by the great Yanomami shaman, Davi Kopenawa. This war is much harder to fight because warlords hide behind the names of conglomerates designed to erase their fingerprints and gain legitimacy day after day by the repetition on the stock exchange trading floors of something intangible called "the market".

The ecocide being perpetrated against the Cerrado and the genocide of the Cerrado peoples are taking place in the context of the most persistent war of our time - and the most difficult to win - which is not between nation states. Rather, it is being waged against nature and the ‘peoples of nature’ by large corporations and the people who run them: the dominant minority, referred to as the “commodities people” by the great Yanomami shaman, Davi Kopenawa. This war is much harder to fight because warlords hide behind the names of conglomerates designed to erase their fingerprints and gain legitimacy day after day by the repetition on the stock exchange trading floors of something intangible called "the market".

The digitalisation of land: more data, less land

As per its nature, public and communal lands cannot be bought, sold or offered as collateral for loans, making it harder for land grabbers to extract wealth if they take over these lands. This is where new technologies come in; the digital integration of cadastres and land registries enables these lands to be reclassified. Through cadastres, rural properties can be included on registries that provide access to public policies and funding, which, in turn, can be used as a basis to issue individual property titles.

As per its nature, public and communal lands cannot be bought, sold or offered as collateral for loans, making it harder for land grabbers to extract wealth if they take over these lands. This is where new technologies come in; the digital integration of cadastres and land registries enables these lands to be reclassified. Through cadastres, rural properties can be included on registries that provide access to public policies and funding, which, in turn, can be used as a basis to issue individual property titles.

A Century of Agro-Colonialism in the DR Congo

Many of the oil palm plantations now owned by multinational corporations in West and Central Africa were built on lands stolen from local communities during colonial occupations. This is the case in what is known today as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the Anglo-Dutch multinational food company Unilever began building its palm oil empire. Today, these plantations are sites of on-going poverty, conflict and violence.

Many of the oil palm plantations now owned by multinational corporations in West and Central Africa were built on lands stolen from local communities during colonial occupations. This is the case in what is known today as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the Anglo-Dutch multinational food company Unilever began building its palm oil empire. Today, these plantations are sites of on-going poverty, conflict and violence.

Infographic | Digital fences: technology and its use in land grabbing

This infographic highlights the main findings of a thorough investigation that was carried out in five South American countries in order to stop the ongoing cycle of violent dispossession. Our report zeros in on the land digitalisation process that is paving the way towards the mass privatisation and financialisation of land.

This infographic highlights the main findings of a thorough investigation that was carried out in five South American countries in order to stop the ongoing cycle of violent dispossession. Our report zeros in on the land digitalisation process that is paving the way towards the mass privatisation and financialisation of land.

TIAA and Harvard’s Brazilian farm deals judged illegal

Two of Brazil's top public authorities on land in the Cerrado have dealt a major blow to the efforts of foreign companies to take over the region's farmlands. These judgements are detailed in a new report by AATR, Rede Social and GRAIN, as well as how fires are once again ravaging large areas of forests on TIAA and Harvard's Brazilian farms, exacerbating the climate crisis.

Two of Brazil's top public authorities on land in the Cerrado have dealt a major blow to the efforts of foreign companies to take over the region's farmlands. These judgements are detailed in a new report by AATR, Rede Social and GRAIN, as well as how fires are once again ravaging large areas of forests on TIAA and Harvard's Brazilian farms, exacerbating the climate crisis.

From political coup to land destruction in Brazil

The so-called “Land Grabbers’ Act” not only authorizes the immediate regularization of some 40 million hectares of federal public land, but also vitiates the nation’s agrarian reform policy and facilitates the introduction of illegal settlements into the land market, resulting in a genuine agrarian counter-reform.

The so-called “Land Grabbers’ Act” not only authorizes the immediate regularization of some 40 million hectares of federal public land, but also vitiates the nation’s agrarian reform policy and facilitates the introduction of illegal settlements into the land market, resulting in a genuine agrarian counter-reform.