The role of transnational land investments in rural transformation

Across the developing world, increasing amounts of agricultural land are coming under the ownership and control of foreign investors. While supporters – including many businesses and local governments – see great potential for modernisation and poverty alleviation in these foreign land investments, opponents view them as “land grabs” that threaten the environment, undermine the concerned country’s food security, and hinder local populations’ ability to self-determine their country’s development. Despite countless media reports on the topic and an uptick in related research, there is very little empirical evidence on the extent, driving forces, and effects of such transnational pressures on land. Drawing on all relevant NCCR North-South research to date, this project aims to help fill the gap in scientific evidence by synthesising programme findings, developing a relevant analytical framework, and assessing key factors and processes of transnational land pressure at global scale.

Research Project Co-leaders


Thomas Breu
NCCR North-South

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

University of Bern, Switzerland

Bishnu Upreti
South Asia Regional Coordination Office
Kathmandu, Nepal