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Food appropriation through large scale land acquisitions

By: Maria Rulli, Paolo D'Odorico

Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) for agriculture are typically presented by investors and supporting governments as an efficient way to realize the full productive potential of lands otherwise under-exploited due to a lack of technology and capital. This paper published by IOPscience presents a quantitative assessment of the additional quantity of food crops that could be derived from the implementation of commercial large-scale agriculture on LSLA lands. Even conservative estimates suggest that improved agricultural technology on these lands could close the crop yield gap (the difference between the actual and potential crop yield) so as to feed a minimum of 110 million additional people and dramatically improve food security. However, most of the added crop yield from this commercial agriculture is exported to markets in developed countries. Thus, the potential food-security benefits of large-scale commercial agriculture are not realized in practice for resident populations. Instead, food security is weakened by having the most productive lands appropriated for large-scale agriculture.

Keywords: food security, commercial/large-scale agriculture, subsistence farming, large-scale land acquisitions.

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Uploaded on: Jul 27, 2015
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
Year Published: 2014
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