This week the Mekong Region Land Governance hosted the Regional Workshop on Responsible Large-Scale Agriculture Investment in Vientiane, Laos. The workshop explored the challenges of large-scale agricultural investments and proposed alternative approaches which support sustainable and pro-poor development, as well as economic growth.

Participants came from the Mekong countries and beyond representing government, private sector, research institutions, civil society and  international organizations.

Since the 1990s, the number of large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural investments in the Mekong region has grown dramatically. It was expected that this would increase incomes, productivity and government revenues however the results have often been disappointing. Instead, many large agricultural investments have had negative social and environmental impacts, causing problems for communities, investors and governments.

Topics discussed include:

  • the positive and negative impacts of investments on rural smallholder farmers, as well as the concessionaires;
  • the effectiveness of current national regulatory frameworks;
  • and the experiences of engagement between the private investors and rural communities.

Presentations and other materials from the workshop are available here:


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