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US Investment in Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

In the past decade, investment in land used for agriculture and forestry in low- and middle-income countries has grown dramatically. This study reveals that US investors—mainly private equity and hedge funds—play a substantial role financing agribusiness companies that employ monoculture production in low-income countries at the expense of biodiversity and greater food security. The analysis is based on primary data collected from interviews with investors and fund managers involved in farmland and timberland investments and experts from civil society organizations, as well as a review of secondary and limited primary data on US investors and investment funds engaged in large-scale land acquisitions in low- and middle-income countries. The report also discusses the challenges to gaining access to information and the need for stronger public disclosure requirements.