Things that are not awesome: Grass production displaces farmers in northern Pakistan

Yesterday evening I attended a side event hosted by France and Germany to advance the discussion on implementing the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security.

The panel was compelling and provided clear thoughts on the way forward, including an interesting review of policies implemented in Sierra Leone that are being designed and implemented to ensure that people’s rights are protected while the government works to promote investment in the country.

Earlier that day, I had attended a session on the Inter-Agency Group that drafted the Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment (PRAI) where the data suggested that a very small percentage of the money invested in agriculture is invested in food-production.

This morning, I was reading through my daily food security updates and came across this:

According to farmers in Pakistan, a company based in the United Arab Emirates has forcibly taken 500 acres of land from a village in the Mirpurk has district. The land, which was originally used to farm livestock and vegetables, will now be planted with alfalfa and Rhodes grass to be exported to markets in the Middle East, Europe and the US. The farmers state that they were not consulted, and are now unable to access the land for fodder for their livestock.
Source: Al Dahra – Farm Land Grab
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Cases such as these highlight the value of the VGGTs and the need to implement then at that national level.

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