These 14 Countries Are Buying Incredible Amounts Of Foreign Land In Deals You Never Hear About

arizona farm

Photo: Flickr

In the last decade, more than 495 million acres of land were sold or leased in transnational deals, according to a report published by a coalition of research centres and civil society groups.The report reveals startling facts about the secretive world of land-buying in foreign countries, which involves governments, as well as private and public companies, according to the Guardian

Because of a huge rising global demand for water, food and energy, both wealthy, food-importing countries and emerging economies are targeting cultivable land buy at rock bottom prices in poorer countries, the Land Matrix project reports.

For some context to the sizes listed — New York City’s Central Park is around 341 hectares, or 843 acres.

South Africa

Total hectares bought: 1,231,034 (about 3 million acres)

Big purchase: 870,000 acres in Benin by an unknown investor for agriculture.



Total hectares bought: 1,329,793 (about 3.3 million acres)

Big purchase: 960,000 acres in Australia by Alberta Investment Management Corp. for forestry.



Total hectares bought: 1,434,700 (about 3.5 million acres)

Big purchase: 350,000 acres in Mozambique by Global Solidarity Forest Fund for forestry.



Total hectares bought: 1,547,616 (about 3.8 million acres)

Big purchase: 880,000 acres in Indonesia by BHP Billiton Limited for agriculture.


Saudi Arabia

Total hectares bought: 2,204,132 (about 5.5 million acres)

Big purchase: 675,000 acres in the Philippines by Eastern Renewable Fuels Corp. for agriculture.


United Arab Emirates

Total hectares bought: 2,277,856 (about 5.6 million acres)

Big purchase: 4.2 million acres in Sudan by Al Ain National Wildlife for tourism.



Total hectares bought: 2,388,000 (about 5.9 million acres)

Big purchase: 4.9 million acres in the Democratic Republic of Congo by an unknown investor for agriculture.



Total hectares bought: 2,614,792 (about 6.5 million acres)

Big purchase: 4.9 million acres in Indonesia by an unknown investor for agriculture.


South Korea

Total hectares bought: 2,696,297 (about 6.7 million acres)

Big purchase: 1 million acres in Cambodia by Kapa Limited for unspecified purposes.


The UK

Total hectares bought: 3,008,472 (about 7.4 million acres)

Big purchase: 1.7 million acres in the Philippines by NRG Chemicals for agriculture.



Total hectares bought: 3,397,607 (about 8.4 million acres)

Big purchase: 710,000 acres in Indonesia by Sime Darby Berhad for agriculture.



Total hectares bought: 4,136,973 (about 10.2 million acres)

Big purchase: 900,000 acres in Indonesia by BHP Billiton for agriculture.



Total hectares bought: 5,354,502 (about 13.2 million acres)

Big purchase: 25,000 acres in Cambodia by the Phou Mady Investment Group for forestry.



Total hectares bought: 5,420,209 (about 13.4 million acres)

Big purchase: 4.9 million acres in Indonesia by Tata Power for agriculture.


Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.