Investments in Agribusiness: A Retrospective View of a Development Bank’s Investments in Agribusiness in Africa and East Asia


Sacrificing Development to A void Public Controversy One of the relatively few occasions when the land required for an estate was already owned by smallholders was the pioneering National Development Corporation (N DC ) /Guthrie oil palm plantation in remote Agusan Del Sur Province of Mindanao in the Philippines , which began in 1981. It was to be only the second oil palm plantation in the Philippines and at 8,000 ha by far the largest, aiming to stem a rising tide of palm oil imports.

CDC’s participation as a lender attract ed high profile criticism in the UK – demonstrations outside its London Head Office, a TV documentary, questions in Parliament.

Under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law it was not possible for a foreign JV to own large blocks of land. The project therefore negotiated to lease under utilised land from a large number of smallholders, who had been allocated land under the reforms but generally lack ed the capital and training to use it. There were allegations that a local militia had been used by the company to intimidate smallholders into signing the leases, and this cause was taken up by the Roman Catholic Church, and became part of a wider campaign against alleged abuses under the dictatorship of President Marcos.

Source InstitutionWorld Bank
Source URL
Page Count64
Place of PublicationPasig City
Original Publication DateOctober 15, 2012