Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2307/5909
Title: Large Scale Land Acquisition
Authors: D'Agostino, Giovanna
metadata.dc.contributor.advisor: Monni, Salvatore
Conigliani, Caterina
Cuffaro, Nadia
Keywords: Land Acquisition
Food/Energy Nexus
Issue Date: 11-May-2016
Publisher: Università degli studi Roma Tre
Abstract: Natural resources are likely to become, over the 21st century, the focus of an intensified competition among different uses, competition triggered by the rapidly increasing demand for water, energy, food and minerals related to population growth and urbanisation, and by changing lifestyles and diets. The availability of any kind of resource has a strict dependence on land. This dependence is very high for agriculture and water, and very significant for energy and minerals. Land ownership and use adds layers of complexity in the nexus relating water, energy and food, which are the key pillars of human well-being and societal development globally. In global this context, it seems to be important to increase understanding of the converging global dynamics that have spurred a global rush for agricultural land in Africa, Latin America and parts of South-east Asia, which has intensified after the food price crises in 2007-2008, after many years of little investments in the agricultural sector. This trend is generally referred to as land grabbing and is characterised by purchases or long-term leases (which typically run for 50 to 99 years) of farming land by either private or public investors. In the first part of the thesis, I have reviewed the literature, explaining the drivers and the trends of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions (LSLAs). It is easy to see that the majority of such investments are targeting Africa continent. This because at the first sight the continent presents the most available land in the world ready to be cultivated. “Available”, “degraded” and “underutilized”, have became epithets in common usage among proponents of large-scale land acquisitions, rendering landscapes as commodities ready for the taking. Foreign and local investments offer crucial opportunities to recipients in terms of access to capital, technology and innovation, foreign market access and infrastructure development. However there are development risk associated with insecure property rights and land concentration. Hence, concern for the recent capital flows is linked to the likelihood that it may shift the path of agricultural development away from smallholder strategies, with the possible negative implications extensively discussed in the development and agricultural economics literature. In the following part, using a beta regression, I have investigated the determinants of land acquisitions for large-scale agriculture. Results confirm the central role of agro-ecological potential as a pull factor, and also that such investments in Africa are targeting forested areas. During the 1980 – 2000 period, more than half of the new agricultural land across the tropics came at the expense of intact forests, and another 28% came from non intact forests, raising concerns about environmental services and biodiversity globally. Intensive farming, which continues to increase, has resulted in loss of natural habitats and species living in them. Forest and mixed-use woodlands are often targeted by government for agriculture expansion in order to avoid the displacement of crop land. In the third part of my thesis, I have analysed the link between inequality access to land and growth, given that the large size of foreign and domestic capital flows in conjunction with state landlordism in Africa may result in a development path that is geared towards large farms and land concentration. The average size of a farm in Africa is 2.2 ha, namely a very small size if compared to investments in land that are at least 200 ha large. In order to analyse the above link I have used a meta regression technique to review the land inequality literature. A large literature on inequality and growth has firmly established a strong role of land inequality as determinant of income inequality, and the negative impact of land inequality on long term growth; long term analysis also clearly shows that inequality in asset ownership once established is very difficult to reverse. The policy implications are that smallholder or outgrower strategies should be encouraged also in a context of large-scale deals, the degree of legal protection of land rights is crucial, elements of land related corporate social responsibility could usefully integrate public regulation in the domain of protection of user's rights. In the last part, I have done a preliminary assessment of loss of carbon following the conversation of land use from forest to crop land. Converting a forest to crop-land, for example, for biofuels production can result in much more global warming pollution than the amount that can be reduced by the biofuels grown on that land. Thus, I have assumed that 30 per cent of such investments are happening on forest land, unfortunately the inaccuracy of localization data do not allow an assessment more precise.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2307/5909
Access Rights: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Appears in Collections:Dipartimento di Economia
T - Tesi di dottorato

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