Land grabbing in post-Soviet Eurasia: The world's largest agricultural land reserves at stake
SourceJournal of Peasant Studies, 38, 2, (2011), pp. 299-323
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Journal of Peasant Studies
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
Land grabbing’ in Africa by China, and other populous, high-income Asian countries such as South Korea, has received considerable attention, while land grabbing in post-Soviet Eurasia has gone largely unnoticed. However, as this article shows, foreign state and private companies are also acquiring vast areas of farmland in this region. The article first discusses the factors that make post-Soviet Eurasia such an attractive region for international investment, arguably encompassing much greater agricultural land reserves than most regions of sub-Saharan Africa or Asia. Second, in view of the use of media and web-based data in this article, the methodological limitations of researching land investments are discussed. Third, an overview is given of the processes of land accumulation and farm acquisition. Both domestic and international accumulation of land are dealt with in the domestic context of agricultural development and institutions. Furthermore, the main actors (investors) involved in land grabbing are distinguished (according to their country of origin and legal or institutional form). Fourth, the article outlines the main obstacles (and points of contention) concerning the emergence (and effectiveness/performance) of domestic, and especially international, agroholdings in the region. Some preliminary findings are presented on the possible effects of land grabbing on local populations in this region.
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