Working Group News on Land Grabbing – March 2016


  1. Oil Palm Farmers in Uganda call on UN to stop supporting Bidco Multinational


Over 100 farmers in Kalangala, Uganda, say they lost their land to the vegetable oil production company, Bidco. The project for which their lands are used is the result of a cooperation between Bidco and the local government and is funded by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The company deforested more than 7.500 hectares of rainforest and smallholder farms on Bugala Island on Lake Victoria to make way for one of the largest palm oil plantations on the continent. The Bugala Farmers Association petitioned the UNDP to cut its ties with the corporation. In addition a complaint was submitted to the UNDP’s Stakeholder Response Mechanism (SRM) and Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU), and is currently being reviewed for eligibility {LINK}.


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      2. Nigerian Farmers Return to their Land after Land Grab with G8 Involvement


In 2015 a report from several NGOs {LINK} exposed how small-scale farmers in the Gassol community were being forced off their land by the US company Dominion Farms. The lands are to be used for a 30,000 ha rice plantation. This project has the support of the Nigerian government and also of the G8 through their “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition” program. Currently there has been no further development by Dominion Farms on the site and famers have cautiously returned to their lands for growing season. However, future plans remain unclear, as there has been no official communication from Dominion Farms.


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      3. Saudi Agro-Giant, Contested in Ethiopia, Exporting to Europe


The Saudi Star, the agricultural company which is property of Mohammed Al-Amoudi, has once more been questioned for its connection with land grabs in Ethiopia. Already in 2014 TV4 came forward with an investigative documentary {LINK} on Al-Amoudi’s involvement in land grabs in the Omo Valley in Ethiopia. Although the Saudi Star mainly exports grain to Saudi-Arabia, it also supplies cotton to multinational fashion giant H&M, with head office in Sweden and several stores throughout the EU.


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