Here what happen around me, specifically about land ownership change. In my country, everyone has the right of ownership on a land. He my use his land for growing crops, develop a house or just leaving it. The land owner has to pay annual tax and he may sell the land freely.
In urban area, the land price is more expensive than in rural area. People may use their land for commercial activities that paying more return than agriculture. Commonly rural areas produce agriculture products to meet the demand from urban consumers.
Buy a land is easy; but it’s not easier than we buy a snack bar. If you’re renewable businessman that eager to produce biofuel from oil palm, you need to manage more than 100 hectares of oil palm crops.
You will contact your bank, your liaison staff to deal with the permits, taxes and other requests from local people, agencies etc. Count this items as transaction cost that will protect your investment.
Land grab & fast cash demand
I heard about campaign from Oxfam about land grabbing. Oxfam defines land grab if a land acquisitions violates human rights, fail to consult affected people, don’t get proper consent and happen in secret.
I heard also in Sumatra, Kalimantan island where the land is still abundance, investors are seeking land for generating profit from oil palm. In this case, land grabbing might be happen, possible to happen. The victims mostly from the local people who usually attracted by fast cash; instant richest.
What to do
Improving education on local people will increase their resilience; creating more opportunities to protect their land; their local values and their future.
Investor will do anything to protect their investments. He might be not consider about the orangutan issues or peatlands that emitting more carbon. But, there’s business practice addressing these environmental issues. To address the smallholder ownership issues, the company is enable to develop partnership mechanism with smallholders. I see these practice is possible and succeed to be implemented in South Sumatra.