Demand for agricultural land in developing countries has risen drastically over the next decade. Investment in neglected regions can be a boon to the local economy, but it many cases it has sadly led displacement, environmental harm and increased conflict over land.
A recent paper by the Cloudburst Group highlights the dangers of pre-existing land conflicts for private investment and development projects. If these conflicts are not recognised and addressed early on, they can intensify leading to the obstruction of development.
The researchers noted five signs of impending land conflict: population increase, inward migration, rising land value, previous land transfers and unreliable records.
The study recommends investors unfamiliar with an area to conduct due diligence. They should understand and engage with land issues in the area, and most importantly, deal directly with those whose land is affected by the project.