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Agricultural commercialisation contracts: concessions over people?

Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger

IIED Briefing, 4 pages

Recent actual and expected changes in global agricultural commodity prices have fostered a renewed business interest in tropical agriculture. Agricultural commercialisation concessions (ACCs) are contracts between governments and agribusiness companies allowing the company to supply inputs, purchase farm produce and also sometimes run processing operations and/or provide storage, marketing and distribution services in a given geographical area. ACCs can have far-reaching repercussions for sustainable development in recipient countries. They could provide new livelihood opportunities, however certain features of the contractual processes and clauses raise concerns that ACCs are concluded with little consultation and grant companies monopoly rights. IIED is following ACC development closely, although most contracts are not publicly available and confidentiality restrictions apply. This briefing discusses some of the issues at stake with the aim of promoting awareness and public debate.

This briefing has been produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment project.

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Investment contracts – from land concessions to production sharing agreements for oil and gas projects – define the terms of an investment and influence the distribution of its costs and benefits. The process to conclude the contracts influences who has what say, when and how. IIED works with partners to rethink these legal documents and the process through which they are formulated.

More at www.iied.org:
Realigning investment contracts with sustainable development

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