World Bank: Access To Land Critical For The Poor

sickness ampoule geneva;”>During the recent Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty convened in Washington, story DC, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President World Bank Group, said they share concerns about the risks associated with large-scale land acquisitions.

“Securing access to land is critical for millions of poor people. Modern, efficient, and transparent policies on land rights are vital to reducing poverty and promoting growth, agriculture production, better nutrition, and sustainable development,” said Kim.

The World Bank statement indicates that by 2050, the world will have two billion more people to feed. To do that, global agricultural production will need to increase by 70 percent. That calls for substantial new investment in agriculture– in smallholders and large farms—from both the public and private sectors.

“But investment alone will not be enough. High and volatile food and fuel prices and the effects of climate change and scarce resources make the challenge even more daunting. Unless crop yields can be raised, many people will remain hungry, under-nourished, and unable to seize opportunities to improve their lives,” said Kim.


He also noted that the World Bank Group has invested in the agriculture sector in the recent years, helping smallholders increase productivity, reduce waste, access markets and secure clear land rights.

“We are working to provide more access to finance for women farmers and entrepreneurs. But additional efforts must be made to build capacity and safeguards related to land rights—and to empower civil society to hold governments accountable,” added Kim.

The statement also indicates that the World Bank Group is scaling up efforts to improve land governance through increased transparency, accountability, and participation in decision making, protect the rights of land owners and realize benefits for smallholder farmers and also promote policies that recognize all forms of land tenure and help women achieve equal treatment in obtaining land rights.

The World Bank Group supports and endorses the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (“the VGs”). These guidelines are a major international instrument to inform specific policy reforms, including our own procedures and guidance to clients. The World Bank Group is already working with countries to implement the VGs, with a special focus on Africa.

Dr. Kim also noted that the World Bank has launched a consultative process with all its stakeholders to review and update our environmental and social safeguards policies, of which Land acquisition is a part of the conversation.

Meanwhile also, the World Bank Group is partnering with other stakeholders to support the drafting and adoption of Responsible Agricultural Investment principles through engagement with the UN Global Compact and FAO’s Committee on Food Security.

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