One Hectare at a Time: How the New Land Grab in Africa Will Affect the EU’s Agricultural Sector




Schaefer, Geoff

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The CAP reforms proposed in 2003 do a good job of bringing the EU’s agronomy into the future. But some aspects of the proposal have not, understandably, taken into account the new phenomenon of purchasing huge swathes of land in Africa. It is hard to predict whether this trend will continue, or at what pace. However, the EU needs to prepare for marked changes in equilibrium food prices. These changes call for a more flexible policy and increased focus on investment. This paper intends to lay out the scope of the land grab, what it means for the EU and how the CAP should be adjusted to meet these future challenges. It will give a number of recommendations to hedge against a more uncertain global agronomy. In doing so the intention is to start the debate not on whether this land grab should be taking place, but how to respond to it now that it is.



European Union, Africa