by Rebecca Pointer, Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)
While proponents of corporate farms argue that large scale land investment will enhance food security, activists and academics alike are highlighting how detrimental such land deals could be for the food security of those who are moved off the land to make way for corporate farming.
Speaking at a meeting of the Pan African Parliament yesterday, parliamentarians, civil society, academics and agribusiness came together to discuss how to make large scale land investment work for Africa.
Civil society activists, such as Constance Mogale from the Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA), highlighted how moving women off land to make way for investors meant that women could no longer produce food to secure their livelihoods. As this leaves affected women all but destitute, they also cannot access the food being produced by the commercial farm which had replaced their activity. Food security for the poor and vulnerable is often not about availability, but about access. Increasing production through commercial farming, therefore, does not help those who do not have cash to purchase their food.