China

Activists say 'land grab' in poor nations driven by global trends

Walden Bello said that many of the deals were struck in dysfunctional and corruption-ridden nations, and rejected claims the land being signed away is of poor quality, and that the projects will bring jobs and improve infrastructure. “What we’re talking about is private parties using state contracts to enrich themselves,” he said. “It’s an intersection of corrupt governments and land-hungry nations.”

A vendre : pays pauvres

Le Cambodge a annoncé qu’il devrait avoir signé d’ici à mi- 2009 et que les accords concerneraient 2,5 millions d’hectares (l’équivalent de la Bretagne). Notons que le pays continue de recevoir une aide d’urgence du Programme alimentaire mondial, ce qui permet de douter de sa capacité à nourrir à la fois sa population et celle du Golfe…

Africa’s silver lining

“Now we are facing the food crisis. Madagascar can have a lot to offer on this: we have land, we are using less than 10% of arable land in Madagascar. The big foreign investors can come in, work together with us. They will get good return on investment and we will get food for the population."

Ethiopia: Can foreign-owned farms solve food crisis?

The Ethiopian government’s ambitious target of harvesting 28 million tonnes of cereals in the first three quarters of the 2007/2008 budget year has failed. Authorities seem determined to change this situation by leasing huge chunks of land to other sovereign states for mechanised farming.

China and the great global landgrab

Stephen Marks looks at the latest rush by China and countries in the middle east to sign lease agreements in poor countries for agricultural production, and what this trend means in terms of food security and access to arable land for local populations.