Is the World Bank Destroying Traditional Farming by Enabling Corporate Land Grabs?

landgrabA new report from an independent policy think tank raises questions about the harmful effects on smallholders and traditional farmers by the World Bank’s country ranking system, which is claimed to lead to corporate land grabs, which further impoverishes the poor.

“The Bank’s “Doing Business” rankings, which score countries according to how Washington officials perceive the “ease of doing business” there, have caused many developing-country leaders to deregulate their economies in hopes of attracting foreign investment. But what the World Bank considers beneficial for foreign business is very often the exact opposite for existing farmers and herders.

In the agricultural sector, the rankings encourage governments to commoditize their land — and to sell or lease it to foreign investors, regardless of environmental or social impact. Smallholder farmers, pastoralists, and the indigenous peoples are casualties of this approach, as governments and foreign corporations work hand-in-hand to dispossess them of their land — and gain World Bank approval in the process.” – Our Land Our Business

Read the overview and then download the full report (PDF), “Willful Blindness — How the World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) Rankings Impoverish Smallholder Farmers” at Our Land Our Business.

The report and campaign are from the Oakland Institute and /The Rules, and supported by various global NGOs and farmer and consumer organizations.

Written by Derek Markham

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!


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