Global Policy Forum

World Bank Told to Stop Lending to Land Grabbers


A group of fifteen civil society organizations issued an open letter to the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), condemning IFC’s partnership with the Argentinean firm Calyx Agro which has bought vast tracks of farmland in southern Latin America. Calyx Agro is looking to expand its farmland holdings in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, and has asked the IFC for a loan of up to $30 million. The letter denounces the loan and points to the World Bank’s “blatant contradictions between the Bank’s stated mission of poverty elimination and sustained development, and its policies and lending practices.” If Calyx Agro is granted the loan, the company will be able to buy thousands of acres of farmland for wealthy foreign investors at the expense of small-scale farmers.  The significance of the World Bank’s involvement goes beyond finance as one of the world’s biggest multilateral institutions will be once again offering direct support to the global land rush.

July 6, 2011

Civil society organisations* from Latin America, Europe and around the world have issued an open letter calling on the World Bank's International Finance Corporation to reject a proposal to finance Calyx Agro, a company that acquires farmland in Latin America on behalf of wealthy foreign investors. Calyx Agro is a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus, one of the world's biggest commodity traders. The World Bank is considering a loan of up US$30 million to help Calyx Agro expand its operations in Latin America.

The letter also denounces the Bank for its on-going support to other leading investors involved in land grabbing around the world.

To view the letter, click here.

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