The Changing Nature of Investment in Rural Assets

  • Nick Gallent
  • Iqbal Hamiduddin
  • Meri Juntti
  • Nicola Livingstone
  • Phoebe Stirling


Themes explored in this chapter include rural land investment, acquisition and consolidation. The chapter addresses five questions. First, what have been the recent patterns of rural land acquisition and consolidation, particularly those driven by new investors? Second, what approaches characterise investment, passive and indirect or active and direct? Third, who are the investors in rural land? Fourth, what are the motives behind investment in rural land assets? Fifth, and finally, how do investment motives and strategies link to emerging place-based impacts? The big question tackled here is who is investing in rural land assets and for what reason. The chapter flags the profit-seeking nature of land investment (and financialisation) alongside personal motivations.


Rural areas Land Investors Investment Motivations 


  1. Chen, S., Wilson, W., Larsen, R., & Dahl, B. (2013). Investing in agriculture as an asset class. Agribusiness and applied economics report 711, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, North Dakota State University, Fargo.Google Scholar
  2. Clapp, J., Isakson, S. R., & Visser, O. (2017). The complex dynamics of agriculture as a financial asset: Introduction to symposium. Agriculture and Human Values, 34(1), 179–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cotula, L. (2012). The international political economy of the global land rush: A critical appraisal of trends, scale, geography and drivers. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 39(3–4), 649–680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ducastel, A., & Anseeuw, W. (2016). Agriculture as an asset class: Reshaping the South African farming sector. Agriculture and Human Values, 34(1), 199–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fairbairn, M. (2014). ‘Like gold with yield’: Evolving intersections between farmland and finance. Journal of Peasant Studies, 41(5), 777–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. GRAIN. (2016). The global farmland grab in 2016: How big, how bad? Barcelona: GRAIN.Google Scholar
  7. Gunnoe, A. (2014). The political economy of institutional landownership: Neo-rentier society and the financialisation of land. Rural Sociology, 79(4), 478–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development). (2012). Farms and funds: Investment funds in the global land rush. London: IIED. Accessed 28 Nov 2017.
  9. International Land Coalition. (2016). Effective actions against land grabbing (web resource). Rome: ILC. Accessed 28 Nov 2017.
  10. Liddiard, R. (2016). Arable land more likely to be fertile ground for investors than equities. London: Carter Jonas. Accessed 27 Nov 2017.
  11. Luyt, I., Santos, N., & Carita, A. (2013). Emerging investment trends in primary agriculture. A review of equity funds and other foreign-led investments in the CEE and CIS region. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  12. Oakland Institute. (2012, December 4). Do you know what your pension fund is doing in Africa? Oakland: Oakland Institute. Accessed 28 Nov 2017.
  13. Pahl, R. E. (1975). Whose city?: And further essays on urban society. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  14. Praestholm, S., & Kristensen, S. P. (2007). Farmers as initiators and farms as attractors for non-agricultural economic activities in peri-urban areas in Denmark. Danish Journal of Geography, 107(2), 13–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Primdahl, J. (1999). Agricultural landscapes as places of production and for living in owner’s versus producer’s decision making and the implications for planning. Landscape and Urban Planning, 46(1–3), 143–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. RICS. (2015). RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey H1 2015. London: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.Google Scholar
  17. RICS. (2016). RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey H1 2016. London: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.Google Scholar
  18. Sippel, S. R., Larder, N., & Lawrence, G. (2017). Grounding the financialization of farmland: Perspectives on financial actors as new land owners in rural Australia. Agriculture and Human Values, 34(2), 251–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Taylor, M. (2016). Who owns the land? Barbers rural land and property specialists, Market Drayton, Shropshire. Accessed 28 Nov 2017.
  20. van Vliet, J., de Groot, H., Rietveldb, P., Peter, H., & Verburga, P. (2015). Manifestations and underlying drivers of agricultural land use change in Europe. Landscape and Urban Planning, 133, 24–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nick Gallent
    • 1
  • Iqbal Hamiduddin
    • 2
  • Meri Juntti
    • 3
  • Nicola Livingstone
    • 2
  • Phoebe Stirling
    • 2
  1. 1.Bartlett School of PlanningUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.University College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Law and PoliticsMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

Personalised recommendations