2011 Winter - Foreign investment in Australian agriculture, myths and realities

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FPJ0802 Broadbent Jennifer, Pritchard Bill, Is farmland up for grabs, patterns of land ownership in rural NSW

Broadbent Jennifer, Pritchard Bill, Is farmland up for grabs? Patterns of land ownership in rural NSW, Farm Policy Journal, Vol 8, Number 2, Winter 2011, Foreign investment in Australian agriculture: myths and realities, Australian Farm Institute, pp 11-19
ISSN 1449-8812

Prompted by long-range forecasts of higher prices for agricultural commodities, the direct ownership of productive agricultural lands have come under the watchful eye of international investors and sovereign wealth funds as a strategically important, long-term asset class. Although this newfound interest in agricultural land acquisitions has been played out mainly in the developing world, its reverberations have been felt in Australia. This has prompted considerable community and political debate, which has subsequently highlighted the paucity of authoritative information on the scale and nature of foreign ownership in Australian farmland. Focusing on empirical data from NSW, this article sets out a systematic response to community concerns over changing ownership patterns in Australian farming. First, it contextualises this issue by providing a stocktake of rural land ownership in New South Wales (NSW) over the period 2004–08. This analysis underlines the relatively modest extent to which rural land is owned by corporate entities in NSW. It is concluded that there is considerable diversity in the actors and objectives guiding contemporary investment in rural land, but within this milieu the so-called ‘foreign land grab’ is hardly visible, and a more sophisticated response is required to explain these occurrences. What matters is not the ownership of land per se, but the ways in which landowners utilise their land, and the bridges and connections they have with upstream and downstream participants in agrifood chains, beyond the farm gate
FDI, Foreign Investment, Agriculture, agribusiness, R&D, land ownership, rural, NSW, farm

$12.10


 
 




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Farm Policy Journal - Vol 8 No 2 2011 Winter - Full Journal

Farm Policy Journal, Vol 8, Number 2, Winter 2011, Foreign investment in Australian agriculture: myths and realities, Australian Farm Institute, p 1-50
ISSN 1449-8812

FDI, Foreign Investment, Agriculture, agribusiness, R&D, land grab, biotechnology

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FPJ0802 Byerlee Derek, Deininger Klaus, Foreign investment in farmland, worries about a land grab in Australia are unfounded

Byerlee Derek, Deininger Klaus, Foreign investment in farmland: worries about a land grab in Australia are unfounded, Farm Policy Journal, Vol 8, Number 2, Winter 2011, Foreign investment in Australian agriculture: myths and realities, Australian Farm Institute, pp 1-9
ISSN 1449-8812

Recent strong commodity prices have led to rising demand for farmland and this is projected to continue for the medium term, due to increasing population and incomes, and growing use of biofuels. Global analysis indicates that about 450 million ha of suitable land is available to bring into cultivation, much of it in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Russia, and to some extent Australia. Improved returns in farming have translated into a sharp rise in domestic and foreign investment into farm land, largely focused on Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. A surprising development, given the long tradition of family farming almost everywhere, has been the rise of corporate superfarms often managing over 100,000 ha of prime crop land. Where land and other markets work well, these new developments represent an opportunity to tap capital, technology and new markets. However, with poor land governance and weak institutional capacity, there have been many failures in economic, social and environmental terms, especially in Africa. In Australia, given skilled farmers and strong institutions, there seems little reason for concern about recent reports of foreign investment in farmland. Australia has set a global example of openness to trade and investment. Increased transparency through a register of such investments could alleviate fears in some circles of a foreign ‘landgrab’ in Australia.FDI, Foreign Investment, Agriculture, agribusiness, land grab

$12.10


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