This new site is an improved version of the site initiated by GRAIN last year, which provides an open, up-to-date and easy to search library of over 800 articles, interviews and reports on farm land grabs around the world published since the outbreak of the food crisis in 2008.
The global trend to buy up or lease farmlands abroad as a strategy to secure basic food supplies, or simply to get rich, is not slowing down -- it is getting worse. The scale is becoming more apparent now, with researchers counting some 20 million hectares of good cropland already signed off to foreign investors, or soon to be, worldwide. More countries and corporations are getting involved, from Sri Lanka to Congo or Hyundai to Varun. Farmers' organisations, human rights groups and other social movements are agitating against this obscene approach to feeding their countries, while at least one government - the Ravalomanana regime in Madagascar -- has been brought down because of its involvement in such a deal.
Next month, through a move by the Japanese government, which has a direct stake in locking down its own outsourced food supply, the Group of Eight most powerful countries are going to release a set of criteria to make these deals look "win-win". The words will be smooth, but people won't be fooled.
Like its predecessor, this new website contains mainly news reports, videos and audio interviews to help people track and understand what is going on. However, its role as a public clearinghouse on otherwise secret deals will be stronger:
- The new site is open-publishing, meaning anyone can register and upload material.
- The website will contain as many land grab contracts as possible, releasing them into the public domain because the secrecy surrounding these deals is unacceptable. (Please contact us if you have any such documents to share. Anonymity will be respected.)
- The website will serve as an active forum for debate and proposals on how to turn things around, with free and open space to write your own piece, comment on someone else's or create new sections.
The site is updated daily, with all posts entered according to their original publication date. If you want to track updates in real time, you can subscribe to the RSS feed. If you prefer a weekly email, with the titles of all materials posted in the last week, you can subscribe to the email service.
This land grab blog is an open project. Although currently maintained by GRAIN, anyone can join in posting materials or developing it further.
- Email: info at farmlandgrab.org
- In October 2008, GRAIN published "Seized: The 2008 land grab for food and financial security", one of the first overall analyses of this new trend. It is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Bahasa Indonesia.
- GRAIN also maintains a landgrab resource page bringing together GRAIN materials, other organisations working on the issues, and relevant actions & events. There are also a number of land grab maps from various sources.
GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems.