Land acquisitions by foreign investors: are they theft or a fair deal? This report looks at 12 land deals from the perspective of sustainable development. It identifies several problems with them. First, the contract terms are often short, unspecific and promise vague investment benefits while granting long term rights to businesses. Second, they often lead to the centralisation of control over the
land, marginalising local people’s involvement in decision-making. This increases the gap between local legitimacy and formal legality. Third, the contracts often lack any detail about how local land rights can be exercised. Finally, the vision of governments, which often sees large scale farming as the way to “modernise” agriculture is often not rooted in the experiences of local farmers.