6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Book Launch: The Global Farms Race -- Land Grabs, Agricultural Investment, and the Scramble for Food Security in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Former Soviet Union

Webcast available

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Designated by the Christian Science Monitor as one of 23 new foreign policy books that should have been read by the 2012 U.S. presidential candidates.

Read more advance praise and additional information about The Global Farms Race
Read Island Press's press release for The Global Farms Race
From the book publisher: As we struggle to feed a global population speeding toward 9 billion, we have entered a new phase of the food crisis. Wealthy countries that import much of their food, along with private investors, are racing to buy or lease huge swaths of farmland abroad. The Global Farms Race is the first book to examine this burgeoning trend in all its complexity, considering the implications for investors, host countries, and the world as a whole.
The debate over large-scale land acquisition is typically polarized, with critics lambasting it as a form of “neocolonialism,” and proponents lauding it as an elixir for the poor yields, inefficient technology, and unemployment plaguing global agriculture. The Global Farms Race instead offers diverse perspectives, featuring contributions from agricultural investment consultants, farmers’ organizations, international NGOs, and academics. The book addresses historical context, environmental impacts, and social effects, and covers all the major geographic areas of investment.
Nearly 230 million hectares of farmland—an area equivalent to the size of Western Europe—have been sold or leased since 2001, with most of these transactions occurring since 2008. As the deals continue to increase, it is imperative to understand them and their consequences. The Global Farms Race is a critical resource to develop that understanding.


This event will feature presentations from contributors to the book and from other experts.


  • Michael Kugelman

    Deputy Director and Senior Associate for South Asia
  • Derek Byerlee

    Independent scholar and adviser, and co-author of World Bank publication, Rising Global Interest in Farmland
  • Gary R. Blumenthal

    President and CEO, World Perspectives, Inc.
  • Janet Larsen

    Director of Research, Earth Policy Institute