As other countries have pushed their industrial bases thousands of miles offshore in search of resources and labor, China is doing the same thing with agriculture, expanding as far away as Africa in its effort to feed its people.
As Beijing scrambles to feed its galloping economy, it has already scoured the world for mining and logging concessions. Now it is turning to crops to feed its people and industries. Chinese enterprises are snapping up vast tracts of land abroad and forging contract farming deals.
A military-driven Chinese hybrid rice-for-opium crop-substitution program in the northern part of Myanmar's Shan state has resulted in four consecutive years of poor harvests and driven many ethnic-minority farmers into heavy debt or out of rice farming altogether.