March 4, 2013

Resource Access

What We Fight For

  1. Securing sufficient funding and proper servicing of USDA lending programs and ensuring a fair USDA appeals system for family farmers.
  2. Eradicating ongoing discriminatory lending practices at all USDA levels.
  3. Raising up land grabbing as a domestic issue and preventing the turnover of land from family farmers to corporate agribusiness, investors, or extractive industries.
  4. Ensuring the sovereignty of family farmers, fishermen and women, and urban farmers.

As credit markets tighten for family farmers, corporate competitors are able to outbid traditional farmers.  These competitors steal farmland away from future generations, compromise sustainable land stewardship, and when land is leased back to farmers, cause debt and dependency on corporations.

Land and Seed Grabs
To retain their rights to land, family farmers must now compete with more powerful and moneyed corporate agribusiness, local and international investors, and extractive companies, such as those responsible for resource mining and fracking.  One of the world’s leading farmland grabbers is TIAA-CREF.  Is your pension fund in TIAA-CREF?  If so, submit a letter to your employer asking them to divest from TIAA-CREF.

Additional Land and Seed Grab Resources

  • Land and Sovereignty in the Americas: Issue brief from Food First describing five sites in the United States that have experienced land grabs.
  • Land and Resources: Issue Primer from Food First about and land and seed grabs.
  • GRAIN: An online resource for information about global farmland grabs.
  • The Oakland Institute: Independent policy think tank that focuses on the issue of land rights.   This institute has more information about the effect of wealthier nations and international private investors purchasing and leasing land from poor and developing countries.
  • Food First: Policy institute that focuses on resource grabs. This organization has more information about the negative consequences of concentrating farmland and other food producing resources in the hands of only a few.
  • A Preliminary Report on Seeds and Seed Practices across the US: 2014 report from a survey conducted by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance.

Water Grabs
In addition to land and seed grabs, rural and fishing communities also experience water grabbing.  Water grabbing occurs when powerful companies, organizations, and nations, take control of water resources for their own benefit, thereby ruining ecosystems, destroying livelihoods, and depriving local communities of access to water.  The fracking and commercial fishing industries are two sectors that have been particularly guilty of a variety of water grabs.

Farmland Monitor
Are you a family farmer or ally? Help us document land grabs! The Farmland Monitor is a farmer-powered hub for information on investment practices that are undermining the ability of family farmers to stay on their land.  Add your local knowledge to our Farmland Monitor today!


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