Land Tenure, Investments and the Right to Food

Author: Luisa Cruz (FAO Right to Food Team)

Right to Food Policy Brief No. 2, 2011.

In the context of the 37th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), food price volatility and investments in agriculture are part of the main topics that are currently being discussed. The right to food issues briefs provide an analysis from a human rights-based approach and offer main recommendations to address the concerns related to both issues through policies and actions aiming at ensuring the right to food for all, particularly to those who are the most vulnerable to price volatility and insecurity of tenure of land and other natural resources.

Investment in agriculture, whether public or private, is crucial for increasing productivity levels in developing countries and for creating economic and social benefits that contribute to the eradication of hunger. This policy brief “Land Tenure, Investments and the Right to Food” illustrates that if agricultural investment projects are negotiated with affected communities and are coherent with national food security and rural development strategies it is more likely that they will be sustainable and centered on a right to food approach. In addition, security of land tenure is critical for the realization of the right to food, as well as for ensuring that investments do not arbitrarily displace local populations from their lands.

Furthermore, the brief argues that achieving the right to food requires responsible governance of land tenure. As such, it is essential that States guarantee compliance with human rights obligations through the elaboration of strategies, policies and legal frameworks that can be enforced by judicial and administrative recourse mechanisms.

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