development globalisation

Land leasing – an interactive map

With pressure on global food supplies, and with money to be made in carbon sequestration in forests, land leasing has become a increasingly common phenomenon. Countries with a shortage of land lease large tracts from countries with a surplus, in theory. They can then use that land for forestry, food production or resource extraction, in return for cash, infrastructure, or other forms of development support.

For some, it’s a perfect opportunity to release untapped value in underused land, benefiting poor countries and rich countries alike. To others its colonialism with a new face, with land acquired through commercial contracts rather than imperial power. Either way, it’s somewhat under the radar, but happening on a pretty large scale. An area of land the size of Western Europe has been signed away in the last decade, a third of it in Africa. I’ve written about it in some detail before, so you can read that post for the detail.

Today I just wanted to mention Land Matrix, an interactive data site that maps target countries and investor countries, showing who is investing where. It’s a useful snapshot of what is happening. The site is in beta at the moment, so you may encounter a few loose ends, but check it out.

One comment

  1. It’s a bad model. LVT is the right model. But if foreigners want to own land and pay the LVT on its open market rental value, that seems reasonable. But of course the tax revenue must be honestly and effectively spent.

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