The Fruits of Civilization (77-1) Land Inequity & Food Production

Land Inequity & Food Production

Land as a primal source of inequity is especially noteworthy in developing countries. In Latin America, 2/3rds of the land is owned by 1.5% of landowners. Most folk are landless laborers: 1/3rd of the population has a hold on just 1% of the land. In Africa, 75% of the rural population own less than 4% of the land.

World hunger is not created by lack of food but by poverty and landlessness, which deny people access to food. Industrial agriculture actually increases hunger by raising the cost of farming, by forcing tens of millions of farmers off the land, and by growing primarily high-profit export and luxury crops. ~ Andrew Kimbrell

Apart from societal inequity, large-scale ownership regimes are inefficient: food output is lower than what it could be, as large landholdings concentrate on export crops, and do so in an intensely environmentally destructive way.

The current agribusiness model benefits the few at the expense of the many: small-scale farmers, the essence of rural livelihoods and backbone of food production for millennia, are under immense stress from land degradation, insecure tenure, and a globalized food system that favors concentrated, large-scale, and highly mechanized farms. ~ United Nations