Land grabbing in Mexico: extent, scale, purpose and novelty
The expression “land grabbing” has been used to describe large scale land transactions in developing nations; buyers or contractors usually are governments or companies of industrialized nations. This paper addresses the extension, scale, purpose and novelty of land grabbing, as well as two major debates around this issue: the contribution of land transactions (if any) to rural development; the role of rural actors in the process. The paper focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean, with particular emphasis on Mexico. Land grabbing in the region involves not only the production of “flex crops”, but also “commodity grabs” and “green grabs”. Mexico presents a very high concentration and foreignization of the agricultural chain value, which is expressed in various forms of contract agriculture. Current processes of land grabbing are different from others occurring in the past because they are a new way to respond to the multiple dimensions of the global crisis: financial, food, energy and climate. The paper concludes that more research is needed on the impacts of land grabbing on rural communities, particularly from a differentiated and comparative approach capable of highlighting regional, class, age, and gender disparities.