A dramatic rise in large-scale land acquisitions in low and middle-income countries has led to growing public and media scrutiny of the potential impact on local communities. Some companies take over existing farms, rather than converting new land for agricultural use, partly to minimise displacement and adverse livelihoods impacts. But ‘legacy’ land issues – disputes the previous owner(s) failed to address – can still lead to tensions with local communities and pose significant operational and reputational risks.
This briefing note sets out what the private sector can do to address legacy land issues in agricultural investments. Other actors also have an important role to play, including governments and civil society. For a comprehensive discussion of international standards and emerging good practice for all stakeholders, read Addressing ‘Legacy’ Land Issues in Agribusiness Investments