248 pages, 6 x 9
figures, boxes, references
Release Date:04 Oct 2012
Release Date:04 Oct 2012
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Global Farms Race

Land Grabs, Agricultural Investment, and the Scramble for Food Security

Island Press

As we struggle to feed a global population speeding toward ninebillion, we have entered a new phase of the food crisis. Wealthycountries that import much of their food, along with private investors,are racing to buy or lease huge swaths of farmland abroad. TheGlobal Farms Race is the first book to examine this burgeoningtrend in all its complexity, considering the implications forinvestors, host countries, and the world as a whole.

The debate over large-scale land acquisition is typically polarized,with critics lambasting it as a form of “neocolonialism,”and proponents lauding it as an elixir for the poor yields, inefficienttechnology, and unemployment plaguing global agriculture. TheGlobal Farms Race instead offers diverse perspectives, featuringcontributions from agricultural investment consultants, farmers’organizations, international NGOs, and academics. The book addresseshistorical context, environmental impacts, and social effects, andcovers all the major geographic areas of investment.

Nearly 230 million hectares of farmland – an area equivalent tothe size of Western Europe – have been sold or leased since 2001,with most of these transactions occurring since 2008. As the dealscontinue to increase, it is imperative for anyone concerned with foodsecurity to understand them and their consequences. The GlobalFarms Race is a critical resource to develop that understanding.
Michael Kugelman is a program associate for South andSoutheast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.Susan L. Levenstein is a program specialist with theUS Department of State's Bureau of Educational and CulturalAffairs.
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