Jacques Diouf, ex-MD of FAO, recommends States to lease lands to multinationals, instead of selling them
(Ecofin Agency) - In an interview with La Tribune Afrique, Jacques Diouf, former managing director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from 1994 to 2011, reacts to agricultural land grabs. He believes governments should prioritize, in order to achieve a sustainable agricultural development, land leasing more than sales.
“States are sovereign. When I was director at the FAO, I always recommended member-States seeking my advice, to avoid selling lands but rather opt for emphyteutic leases whose terms would be fixed on a national base, depending on the nature of the agricultural activity and the investment’s size. A meeting in this framework should be organized with concerned local communities to assist them in preparing the State-guaranteed contracts, with investors also, to preserve their interests,” Diouf told La Tribune Afrique.
Truly, more and more reports denounce the expansion of land grabs since the 2000s. Africa is at the heart of this phenomenon as the continent has many, yet unexploited, rich arable lands.