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Foreign land claims and acquisitions in Madagascar: What reality? what regulations on the ground?

Burnod P., Andrianirina Ratsialonana R., Teyssier A.. 2010. In : International Conference "Africa for Sale: Analysing and Theorizing foreign Land Claims and Acquisitions", Groningen, Netherlands, 28-29 October 2010. s.l. : s.n., 13 p.. International Conference Africa for Sale: Analysing and Theorizing foreign Land Claims and Acquisitions, 2010-10-28/2010-10-29, Groningen (Pays-Bas).

In 2009, the 1.3 million hectare agricultural project planned in Madagascar by South Korean company Daewoo Logistics exemplified the paradoxical position of the Malagasy State concerning land management. The State was in the same time imposing the development of mega farm and implementing a land reform to secure local land rights. This Daewoo's project, now abandoned, also curtained a diversity of smaller land acquisition processes led by foreign or national investors. This article analyses what are, on the ground, the formal or informal regulations of these investments in the agricultural sector. It exposes the central role the State carries out in the promotion and in the development of these investment projects. It reveals that the State's central position does not allow an effective regulation of the investments but strengthens its control of land access at the expense of the local authorities and communities and to the detriment of a better security for the local land rights. This lacks of openness in land governance results from: the investors' practices, the persistence of a "State?Ownership reflex" and the absence of strong social reactions at the local level.

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