Want to invest in a soybean farm in Mozambique? Maybe you’ve never considered such a thing, but agribusiness investment in developing countries is a hot trend. With food prices on the rise and the outlook for future food demand practically off the charts, governments, companies and private investors have been buying or leasing land in remote corners of the world for agricultural development, a practice that draws praise from some and derision from others.
According to a new report from Worldwatch Institute, these land acquisitions have dropped off somewhat after peaking in 2009, but remain above pre-2005 levels. The report estimates 70.2 million hectares of agricultural land worldwide have been sold or leased to foreign private and public investors since 2000.