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Apine, Elina, 2016. Reasons and consequences of foreign farmland acquisitions in Latvia : a case study of Aluksne municipality. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

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Abstract

This thesis describes farmland acquisitions by foreign investors in Latvia and explores the historical land
reforms and regulations of the land market. Furthermore, the study explores what has caused Latvian
farmland to become an attractive investment target for foreign companies, and how these investments affect
the countryside and the Latvian farmers. In order to comprehend the economic, social and cultural impacts
on the farmers, I have attempted to describe their lifeworlds, by the use of narrative analysis. There is a
particular focus on how local farmers experience foreign investments and bureaucratic interventions. The
study was conducted in the Alūksne municipality, close to the Russian and Estonian border.
The thesis shows how Latvian farmland became an investment target through a land privatisation process,
based on a neoliberal market oriented discourse, in the 1990’s. Furthermore, this process increasingly
commoditised land and transformed its social and cultural meaning. The investors seldom use farmland for
agricultural production, but rather regard it as a source for long-term profit; leasing out the land to local
farmers. This has a negative impact on the local economy and creates few employment opportunities.
Besides the economic changes local farmers are subjected to constant bureaucratic interventions and policy
changes; thus experiencing a high degree of colonisation of their lifeworlds.

Main title:Reasons and consequences of foreign farmland acquisitions in Latvia
Subtitle:a case study of Aluksne municipality
Authors:Apine, Elina
Supervisor:Bartholdson, Örjan
Examiner:Hansen, Kjell
Series:UNSPECIFIED
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:land acquisition, foreign investors, Latvia, Aluksne municipality, colonisation of lifeworlds
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-6034
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-6034
Subjects:Forestry - General aspects
Forestry production
Language:English
Deposited On:01 Nov 2016 08:17
Metadata Last Modified:01 Nov 2016 08:17

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