Women in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have turned back officials trying to implement a forced farming program on their land, but remain concerned about their property rights, according to farmers there.
Food-importing nations from South Korea to Saudi Arabia may step up purchases or leases of overseas farmland to lock in supplies amid concern prices may again surge. “We’re going to see more of this, especially from countries that are quite dependent on imports,” Brady Sidwell, head of advisory at Rabobank Groep NV’s Northeast Asia Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory Group, said in a Bloomberg Television interview broadcast today.
The problem of food security poses a real threat to global stability. Meeting in Italy last weekend, agriculture ministers of the G8 industrialized countries recognized the extent of the problem. They pledged to continue fighting hunger. But beyond calling for increased public and private investment in agriculture, the final communiqué of the ministerial meeting was short on fresh proposals.
China has said it will not join the growing trend of outsourcing food production by investing in overseas farmland, particularly in Africa, expressing doubts that such deals could improve its food security.
Officiellement, les terres arables louées à la Chine n’existent pas. C’est que les autorités kazakhes craignent la réaction de la population rurale devant la “concurrence déloyale” représentée par l’arrivée en masse de paysans chinois, dont l’équipement agricole est supérieur au vieux matériel soviétique encore utilisé sur la plupart des exploitations kazakhes.
Increasingly, the land deals are coming under the scrutiny of the UN and watchdog groups such as Grain, the International Land Coalition and the IFPRI. That's because it is not obvious that they are win-win situations.