Inequality in access to land is increasing across the world. Experts are calling for more rules and controls on the sale of land to counteract poverty.
According to the researchers, the richest 10% of the rural population control over 60% of land assets, while the poorest 50% own just over 3%.
Fewer and fewer people around the world own land. The growing gap in land ownership and access is hitting smallholder farmers, women and indigenous and rural communities hardest, according to the Global Land Inequality Report by the International Land Coalition (ILC), which includes organizations like Oxfam and German Agro Action.The study, published at the end of 2020, compares land inequality in 17 countries using traditional census data and tenure, land quality and other indicators. It concludes that the concentration of land benefiting only a few owners. The report points to a growing interest of companies in investing in agricultural land, which it says is the main cause for land inequality.
"Growing inequality in access to land is a driver of hunger and poverty. Earth belongs to all of us. Land must not be an object of speculation," Marion Aberle, senior policy advisor at German Agro Action, explained.
With the rise of corporate and financial investment, land ownership and control is becoming ever more opaque, said Ward Anseeuw, an analyst at ILC and co-author of the report