China’s search for new land has led Beijing to aggressively seek large land leases in Mozambique over the past two years, particularly in its most fertile areas, such as the Zambezi valley in the north and the Limpopo valley in the south.
One would expect China to add food crops, or farm land, into its growing number of arrangements with African nations, which could explain part of China’s support for Robert Mugabe in that potential breadbasket, Zimbabwe (one report states that China has already received rights to farm 250,000 acres, or 1,000 square kilometres, of corn in southern Zimbabwe).
In March 2004, an agreement was signed between southwest China's Chongqing Municipal government and the Lao government to cooperatively build a comprehensive agricultural park in Laos for Chinese enterprises to produce grain. Leasing farmland overseas to produce grain has become a new way for China, a country with the world's greatest population but comparatively scarce soil resources, to solve its food supply problem.
Dans un souci de reprendre le contrôle sur son approvisionnement alimentaire, les autorités étudient actuellement la mise en place d’une politique incitative visant à encourager les entreprises agricoles chinoises à acheter et louer des terres cultivables en grande quantité, plus particulièrement en Afrique et en Amérique du sud.
This week, Saudi Arabia announced plans to invest in overseas fisheries, livestock and food production, and is reportedly trying to partner with Thai rice farms to lock in future supplies. Libya is in talks with Ukraine about growing wheat there, and as China tries to feed its expanding middle class, it’s looking to buy up farmland in Africa and South America.
Rattled by rapidly rising global grain prices, China is looking at strategies to ensure long-term food security for its 1.3 billion people such as procuring farmland overseas and opposing the formation of any international grain price-fixing monopolies.
China's private firms are pushing to invest in farms overseas, but policy debates over whether this is in China's strategic interest have so far stopped the trend becoming an explicit government policy, a senior official said on Friday.
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.