GAO: Farmland Ownership Data Needs Work

Posted 1/26/24

While foreign ownership of U.S.agricultutal land has grown nearly 50% in the past six years,  USDA and national defense agencies may not have all the information they need to know about which countries are investing and where, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Foreign investors in U.S. agricultural land are required to submit forms describing their transactions to USDA, as required by the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978 (AFIDA). But the GAO notes AFIDA was not designed as a national security program, and "AFIDA forms are focused on data collection rather than identifying potential national security concerns."

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