Land grabbing refers to the phenomenon of large-scale land acquisitions, the buying or leasing of large plots of land in developing countries – and developed countries -, by domestic and
transnational companies, foreign governments, and individuals.
Land grabbing is an ambiguous activity because (Source JPIC):
- It encompasses large-scale acquisitions of farmland by foreign governments, international companies or investment funds – in the least developed or developing countries – in order to produce
food, fodder and bio-fuel;
- It takes place through long-term lease contracts for 50 or even 90 years where National legal instruments often enable such swift land purchases;
- Land “deals” are predominant in countries where the land system is based on informal and traditional laws, recognized locally but not by international agreements. Hence there are no guarantees on
land rights for local communities and, for this reason, peasants cannot prove they are land owners or users of land they are living on;
- The land deals are made in exchange for infrastructure development, market access, financial support, and other supposed benefits. In practice however with no real guarantee of their realization
and not necessarily subject to it.