Agrarian structure, foreign land ownership, and land value in Brazil

Sauer, Sergio and Sergio Pereira Leite

The recent world rush for farmlandd has targeted Latin America in general and Brazil in particular, with a huge increase in foreign investments on land purchase, including the financial enterprises of the last decade. Even with a very illiquid market, land deals and foreign investments in agribusiness are not new in Brazil, but they have increased considerably after 2002. According to some field researches, the most recent investments are related to the production of grains (especially soybean) and sugarcane (to obtain sugar and ethanol), resulting among other consequences in a great increase of land value in some regions of Brazil. Such land rush has led the Brazilian government to reestablish a legal mechanism to controll foreign investment in land deals. But the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (in the Brazilian acronym, INCRA) has registered a large number of land titles in the name of Brazilian companies, and it seems that there is an ongoing cheating process in these land deals. Thus, based on data of INCRAAs registration files, this article discusses the recent process of foreign investment in land purchase in Brazil, looking especially for the main causes of the investments and their main consequences, including land value and social impacts. The research will analyze the appreciation of land value in some regions, relating it with the recent investments in agricultural production in these regions.

Event: International Conference on Global Land Grabbing

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Document type:Agrarian structure, foreign land ownership, and land value in Brazil (561 kB - pdf)