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Biofuels and wasteland grabbing: how India’s biofuel policy is facilitating land grabs in Tamil Nadu, India

Baka, Jennifer (2011) Biofuels and wasteland grabbing: how India’s biofuel policy is facilitating land grabs in Tamil Nadu, India. In: International Conference on Global Land Grabbing, 6th-8th April 2011, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton.

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Abstract

Unlike the large scale, biofuels-induced land grabs occurring in Africa(Cotula et al. 2009; Sulle and Nelson 2009; World Bank 2010), the land grabstaking place in India involve smaller tracts of land and are more subtle and obscured. However, the outcomes on both continents pose equally deleterious threats to the rural poor. Motivated by both international and domestic policies to restrict feedstock cultivation to marginal environments, biodiesel companies in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu have slowly been amassing plantations of privately owned ‘wastelands’, the government’s term for marginal lands, by purchasing lands from farmers at low rates and/or re-registering farmer’s lands without their knowledge or consent. After short-lived attempts at raising biofuel plantations and likely after receiving government subsidies for seedling procurement and land preparation, the companies are in the process of selling lands into real estate for at least double the purchase price per acre, according to government land records. Thus, instead of minimizing threats to food security and enhancing rural welfare, growing biofuels on marginal lands appears to be doing the exact opposite by dispossessing farmers of their agricultural land.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL: http://www.future-agricultures.org/
Additional Information: © 2011 The Author
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD100 Land Use
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD2329 Industrialization
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2013 11:01
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2017 12:46
Projects: Land Deals Politics Initiative (LDPI), Future Agricultures Consortium, Journal of Peasant Studies
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/53042

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