Land Squeeze | Land Portal
Land Squeeze

Resource information

Date of publication: 
April 2024
Resource Language: 

Land is critical to the lives, livelihoods, and food security of millions of people across the world. But a series of unprecedented pressures on global farmland are now accelerating and converging. This land squeeze is driving a surge in land inequality, rural poverty, and food insecurity – and risking a tipping point for smallholder agriculture.

Access to and control over land has been shaped by long-standing processes of discrimination, oppression, and dispossession. Today, farmers, pastoralists, Indigenous Peoples, and marginalized groups are facing renewed threats as the pressures on land evolve and multiply, while new generations face huge barriers to accessing land and entering agriculture.

The financial crash and food price crisis of 2007-2008 unleashed a huge wave of land grabs. Investors, agri-food companies, and sovereign wealth funds succeeded in appropriating large swathes of farmland in the Global South.

The ‘land rush’ tailed off post-2013, but the pressures never went away. Ten years on, the world is now facing a multi-dimensional land squeeze. This time around, the threats are arguably even greater, as land grabs proliferate into new and obscure forms, and farmers and communities are squeezed from all sides. 

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

This report was published thanks to the sustained efforts of the IPES-Food Land working group, comprising Bina Agarwal, Joji Cariño, Susan Chomba, Shalmali Guttal, Melissa Leach, Lim Li Ching, Sofia Monsalve, and Nettie Wiebe, with invaluable support from the full IPES-Food panel. The conceptualization, development, and drafting of this report was overseen by Sofie Quist, Nick Jacobs, and Ines Tielas da Silva, with invaluable research support from Saskia Colombant, Marina Yamaoka, and Mika Schroder. The report’s design and production aspects were led by Chantal Wei-Ying Clément and Robbie Blake, with graphic design by Hearts & Minds. IPES-Food is grateful to Rukshana Nanayakkara, Prof. Sérgio Sauer, and Prof. Ruth Hall for their insightful external review and feedback. Our sincere appreciation also extends to the participants of the three regional dialogues held by IPES-Food on access to land and food sovereignty for generously sharing their time, expertise, and vision.


The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) is an international non-profit thinktank headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Bringing together 25 groundbreaking thinkers and practitioners from diverse fields and world regions, we conduct in-depth research, provide policy recommendations, and advocate for sustainable, equitable, and healthy food systems worldwide.

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