Pathways to Land: Exploring financing for BPOC farmers to gain land security in England

Return to Blog |

written by

Nicola Scott

Feb 29, 2024

Pathways to Land, a new project by Stir to Action, courtesy of a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Emerging Futures programme, will explore financial pathways to securing land appropriate to the needs of BPOC producers (Black/People of Colour), who often face additional barriers to accessing finance based on their identity.

This project supports a call to redress land inequities through enabling greater access to it, not just in terms of nature connection, but through cultural connection and earning a living from it in ways that responsibly maintains the benefits that land provides us.

Firstly, we will engage with BPOC farmers/producers in England, past and present, to understand the financial barriers they face or have faced to secure land, how they may have secured land, and what an ideal finance package would look like to them.

Ideas with progressive lenders and funders will also be explored at this stage, alongside examples of successful BPOC-led farming organisations beyond the UK to provide potential financial and funding models for what could be achieved in England.

GROWE (Grass Roots Oldham Women Enterprise) in Oldham
GROWE (Grass Roots Oldham Women Enterprise) in Oldham

Get involved

If you are a BPOC farmer or organiser of a BPOC community food not-for-profit organisation (past/present), click here to find out more about this project and how you can participate in it.

Project events

In autumn we will host two regional in-person events, incorporating BPOC caucus spaces as well as spaces for social investors, progressive lenders and more, to:

We recognise that collaborating with progressive lenders and funders is not a perfect solution to a wider systemic problem of land-access for BPOC. We wish to hold critiques of these methods with curiosity throughout the project, whilst simultaneously exploring all the avenues that are available to address this issue.

Contact for more details.

A BPOC farmer looking at the soil

Project partners

Jo Kamal (they/them) is a commercial food grower and political organiser mobilising on anti-oppression and liberatory work within the agroecology movement. They have a background in decolonial research and organising towards racial justice. They are a member of compost and soil cooperative Compost Mentis, and have recently taken up a growing post at Ed's Veg in Hampshire. In their spare time, Jo works closely with medicinal herbs and is rooted in healing justice practice.

Pauline Shakespeare was responsible for the Rootz into Food Growing programme (funded by Farming the Future), to challenge and disrupt structural inequalities and narratives within the UK food growing sector. It created a pan-London network of BPOC growers, providing mentoring and support to enable capacity building and enterprise development. As an Associate with The Ubele Initiative, Pauline acted as an advisor for the DEFRA funded New Entrants Support Scheme for the Southeast, supporting new entrants to develop business plans for food growing and farming enterprises.

Nicola Scott has years of community food growing and ecological urban farming experience in Manchester spurred on by her PhD research in Mexico that critiqued GM crop technology transfer to the Global South. Tired of wondering how and why our economies fail many people and the planet, she co-authored a book about diversifying, decolonising, and democratising the teaching and practice of economics. Returning to her passion for food systems change, Nicola managed the DEFRA-funded New Entrants Support Scheme Southeast for Shared Assets. She currently leads on Stir to Action’s work to increase access to land for minoritised groups.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.