Where to meet?

Clarion Congress & Hotel, Cosmos 3C


Felicitas Sommer

Universität Leipzig; SFB 1199: “Verräumlichungsprozesse unter Globalisierungsbedingungen”


Topic: Speculating about Land Ownership? How (In)transparency of Agrarian Structures is negotiated

Keywords: Land Concentration; Property Rights; Transparency; Statistics


Rising land and land lease prices in Germany since 2007 represent a challenge for agricultural enterprises and provide further incentives for speculation with land ownership.

Effective regulation of agricultural land markets is severely restricted by the lack of transparency of complex corporate structures and investment strategies. Therefore, the german government discusses transparency strategies in order to be able to develop targeted political intervention options in land markets.

At present, the dimensions of agricultural structural change cannot be measured with previous administrative data systems and statistics in the agricultural sector. The Thünen Institute refers in particular to transregional, aggregated, complex corporate and land ownership structures that are difficult to grasp with the current agricultural structure survey. In addition, land ownership statistics are not compiled and would be technically and legally difficult to implement. These limitations also have the consequence that the public debate on land grabbing and soil concentration is mainly fed by case studies and individual cases which generate a one-sided focus, for example on foreign or financial actors.

My presentation will focus on the concepts of land ownership (rights) that can be found in agricultural statistics and in the statistical law, in data management practice and in the negotiation of new survey and evaluation possibilities for agricultural structures. I will discuss how these representations of property are institutionally, technically and culturally stabilised and how impact and mirror socially accepted rights and obligations of property. The discussed reforms of the german land register and agricultural statistics show how the relationship between farmers, landowners and their role in society is currently renegotiated.

Go back to the workgroup WG 16 A