How can land investments be both sustainable and equitable?

Photo by: Women farmers use sticks to make holes in the soil for seeds, on a farm near Pangalengan, West Java, Indonesia, May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

The following is an excerpt from an article posted on Thomson Reuters Foundation PLACE. Follow the link for the full article. 

By Lukasz Czerwinski, Land Tenure Specialist, Landesa

There is no question that land is a fundamental asset for food and beverage companies growing and buying agricultural commodities in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia. At the same time, investments in land can threaten the rights of local populations, creating significant risk for local communities and companies and investors alike.

Consider a hypothetical investment: a multinational company has leased 10,000 hectares of land and a production facility from the government to grow and process tea. As part of the agreement, the company committed to establishing an outgrower scheme by purchasing tea directly from smallholder farmers living in the surrounding villages and investing additional capital in equipment, technology and local infrastructure.

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