Local provincial governments are working hard to develop farmland in other countries -- Russia, Cambodia, Mongolia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Paraguay, Uruguay -- because it’s cheaper than relying on imports
Four months ago I travelled to the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines to research agriculture's new land grab phenomenon as part of my postgraduate research. I expected my findings to be a blend of arguments from both sides of the debate. However, I concluded that there was a strong case to be made against the proposition of a "win-win" situation for every stakeholder.
Ama Biney escribe para Pambazuka News sobre la nueva avalancha de acaparamientos de tierras en África por parte de gobiernos extranjeros e inversores privados, movidos por el temor a una escasez mundial de alimentos provocada por el cambio climático y a una volatilidad en los precios de éstos en el mercado internacional
A US Department of Agriculture-led investment scanning of potential business matches in the Philippines has identified $330 million worth of prospects in agriculture, with large tracts of land offered along the pattern provided to Saudi Arabian business groups
Many foreign companies are now positioning for investments in the Philippines such as the Far East Agriculture Corp., a consortium of at least 10 agribusiness companies from Saudi Arabia. Next month, these companies are expected go back to the Philippines for site selection in areas of rice, corn, poultry and livestock production.
The recent typhoons in the Philippines highlighted land and crop use conversion as a factor in worsening the effects of disasters on food production and the need to ensure adequate land for food production. However amid all these, government has reserved more agricultural land for export crops and use of foreign agro-corporations.
Amidst the projected massive growth in demand, the Philippines is set to play a bigger role in supplying 'Halal' goods - particularly food products - with Gulf oil producers looking at plans to invest in farming projects in the Philippines.
“We expect this impending land-lease deal with Saudi Arabia, courtesy of global land-grabbing’s No. 1 puppet in Asia, to displace thousands of farmers and agricultural workers. Ms Arroyo is selling out the country’s national patrimony under the guise of multi-million dollar investment packages,” Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano said.
Philippine President Arroyo will meet with Saudi Minister of Agriculture Fahd Bin Abdulrahman Balghunaim to discuss bilateral agricultural projects and with members of the Saudi business community for talks on proposals for investments in the Philippines.