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Making sense of the global land rush: On the capitalization of farmland, agriculture (and water)

Dr. Stefan Ouma, Institut für Humangeographie, Goethe Universität Frankfurt

Abstract: This talk engages with the global run on farmland and agriculture that has ensued since the food and financial crises of 2007/08, whose drivers have been financial investors, states and agrobusiness companies.

I discuss different discursive framings of this phenomenon that circulate in different social and geographical settings, before proceeding to unpack the causes, investment channels and geographically variegated impacts of the global land rush.

It will become clear that the global land rush is not just about the acquisition of farmland, but also involves establishing claims on water sources or acquiring stakes in agricultural companies, meaning it is about more than just land. The talk pleads for a longue durée perspective to make sense of both the path-dependent elements as well as the novel features of the contemporary land rush.