227 million hectares are reported to have been acquired since 2001, an area of land the size of North-Western Europe. Source: Land Matrix Partnership
History warns that any change in land relations is likely to be affected by systemic gender discrimination and that there is no a priori reason to assume that changes [induced by the new commercial pressures on land] will be any different. -Elizabeth Daley (2011) ‘Gendered impacts of commercial pressures on land’, ILC/CIRAD/Mokoro28
All our plantations were cut down – we lost the banana and cassava. We lost everything we had. The company’s casual labourers would attack us – they beat and threatened people. Even now they won’t let us back in to look for the things we left behind. I was threatened – they told me they were going to beat me if we didn’t leave. -Christine, mid-40s, previously of Kayindiyindi village, Kiboga district, Uganda
Clearly, it is the interests of the company to develop the agro-fuel project that prevail, rather than the Q’eqchi peasant families living in the area.
– Daniel Pascual, Comité de Unidad Campesina
The details of these big land acquisitions are often shrouded in secrecy, particularly the really big ones, which seem to be negotiated at a very high level.
Esther Obaikol, Executive Director, Uganda Land Alliance
Any land which increases in value gets taken out of the hands of the poor. – Fernando Eguren, CEPES, Peru