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The Sugar Rush in South Africa - land grabs, land rights, human rights, agriculture
Southern Africa
Malawi
Mozambique
Sub-Saharan Africa
Swaziland
Tanzania
Zambia
Zimbabwe

By Ian Scoones, Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and the Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre at Sussex

The expansion of sugar production in southern Africa has been dramatic. From its early beginnings in Natal to the huge commercial estates across the region established during the colonial era, new investments are being planned. The land rush in southern Africa is often a sugar rush, with the ‘white gold’ promising riches to governments, local elites and large corporates alike.

A land rights inauguration ceremony in Mozambique, by Lasse Krantz
Africa
Mozambique

Despite certain progress in recent years a large proportion of the world’s rural population, especially in low and middle-income countries, still does not have statutory recognized rights to the agricultural land and other natural resources they have been using for generations and on which they depend for their livelihoods. They are, therefore, vulnerable to today’s escalating demand for land for large-scale commercial investments as well as to other external claims on their landed resources.

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