Development Finance as Agro-Colonialism – CIDSE

Development Finance as Agro-Colonialism

European Development Bank funding of Feronia-PHC oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Report, January 2021.



A new publication by an alliance of civil society organisations including CIDSE members, Entraide et Fraternité (Belgium) and CCFD-Terre Solidaire (France), reports on one of the most scandalous failures of development bank investment in agriculture. The report details how Europe’s largest development banks poured upwards of US$150 million into an oil palm plantation company despite the company’s long-standing land conflicts with local communities and the allegations of serious human rights violations and corruption made against it.

The case makes clear why development banks must immediately stop funding companies engaged in large-scale plantations and industrial agriculture, and why they must fully support efforts by communities struggling against companies they have funded for reparations and the restitution of their lands.

“The investment in Feronia-PHC is certainly not the only disastrous investment in agriculture by European development banks – but the Feronia Inc. debacle must be the last. And European development banks must do the right thing and respect community demands for restitution of their ancestral land.”


The report is co-published by RIAO-RDC (DR Congo), FIAN Belgium, Entraide et Fraternité (Belgium), CCFD-Terre Solidaire (France), FIAN Germany, urgewald (Germany), Milieudefensie (The Netherlands), The Corner House (UK), Global Justice Now! (UK), World Rainforest Movement (International), and GRAIN (International).

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