The worldwide food shortage has spurred enthusiasm among Chinese enterprises to invest in overseas agriculture sectors. South America and Russia are likely to become the new destinations for agricultural investments from China.
With their huge populations, China and India exert an unparalleled force on world food markets. They are looking abroad as it becomes more difficult for them to be self-sufficient -- and the increasing demand often has disastrous consequences across the globe.
Liu Jianjun, a former Chinese government official who runs the Baoding-Africa business council, has contracts to farm 10,000 acres in Uganda, to build a cornflour processing factory in Kenya and for a farm project in the Ivory Coast.
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.
Three Japanese firms, including two on the Fortune magazine's world top 500 list, have jointly leased 100 hectares of farmland in east China's Shandong Province, to become the first foreign investors in China's farming industry.
Hundreds of farmers in Northwest China are expected to toil the soil in the neighboring Republic of Kazakhstan next spring. "We have signed a deal with Kazakhstan to rent 7,000 hectares of land in Alakol county for use for 10 years," a local agricultural official said.
In other African countries, including Ghana, South Africa and Togo, the China State Farm and Agribusiness Corporation (CSFAC) has founded 11 agricultural production, processing and sales projects, and runs a total of 16,000 hectares of farmlands