Is Asia for Sale? Trends, Issues, and Strategies against Land Grabbing

  • Mary Ann Manahan
  • Focus on the Global South


Foreign acquisitions of agricultural lands in Asia and elsewhere have been a focus of concern for many actors and interest groups. This has put land-rights issues and investments in agriculture back onto the global development agenda. This article reviews the recent wave of global land grabbing in Asia, involving commercial transactions and deals around large-scale agricultural land acquisitions for the production, sale, and export of food and agrofuels. At the core of this process, the paper argues, is the transformation and changing role of the state from being an independent governing body into a capitalist body. As a result, national laws have been modified to protect capital, and the interests of the government and private companies are merged as theircollusion becomes closer.


biofuels; land conversion;land grabbing; Asia; agriculture