Soybean plantations are overtaking much of Brazil’s Cerrado region as large-scale agriculture expands across the globe, driving out indigenous peoples and local communities and driving up land prices. The prospect of soy expansion in the Cerrado has attracted not only Brazilian land grabbers but also international investors. The largest pension fund in the United States, TIAA-CREF, has purchased 15 large farms in the region totaling at least 64,850 hectares, according to the limited information available.
Local, small-scale food producers including the Babassu Nut Breakers are struggling to retain access to their lands. The Brazilian government should adhere to its commitment to the UN Tenure Guidelines and ensure that the rights of indigenous peoples in the region are respected.