Under the surface, investments all too often uproot lives and livelihoods for those who depend on small-scale farming, fishing and pastoralism -- more than 70 percent of the population in the case of Mozambique.
John Hantz may not be the last real estate speculator in Detroit, but he's decided the city is his yard. He won't stop grabbing at the city's empty lots until he owns them... or until he graces the supper table.
There is now a growing understanding of the international, wider context of large land deals. Researchers are also showing how the narratives of 'idle land', 'productive commercial agriculture' and 'backward smallholders' are being used by politicians and others.
Today, land access remains largely unfair and inequitable. Never has such a high percentage of the world's population been displaced from their indigenous or ancestral lands, left without land, a secure home, or the ability to feed themselves.