The G8 and Land Grabs in Africa
The G8, several African governments and transnational corporations such as Cargill came together in 2012 to form the “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition”. Cooperation framework, an agreement that forms part of the New Alliance, binds the African governments involved to reform land laws to facilitate foreign investment. As part of the agreement, foreign companies promise to invest heavily in agricultural expansion and development. At the beginning of this year, the government of Cote D’ivoire leased the grain trader Louis Dreyfus 100,000-200,000 hectares of land for rice production. These steps are the G8’s response to the global food crisis. However, these dealings force thousands of local communities and farmers off their land; undermine local food markets and lead to the destruction of livelihoods and the deepening of food insecurity. There are no policy obligations in the New Alliance to ensure the protection of peasants’ and farmers’ human rights or land rights. Instead, the group suggests voluntary guidelines for governments to monitor private investment. The UK presidency of the G8 meeting in June 2013 is citing food security as its top priority and will encourage transparency in foreign land deals. However, the guidelines will not be made compulsory and corporations will only be required to reveal basic information surrounding land acquisitions.