The great African land grab

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Canada Broadcasting Corporation | 14 January 2010

Dispatches, with host Rick MacInnes-Rae:

...In Sierra Leone, up on the bulge of northwest Africa, prosperity is measured in rice. They even have a saying: if you haven't eaten rice today, you haven't eaten. The slave-traders who went there centuries ago called it "The Rice Coast," and people from Sierra Leone, known as the Gulas, developed the rice plantations in the Carolinas in the colonies.

Back home, rice is grown mostly on small family farms. Before the civil war that decimated Sierra Leone from 1991 until 2002, it produced enough rice to feed itself and to export some. Now, foreign corporations are taking over vast tracts of farm land. Rice is being replaced by sugar cane. To be converted to ethanol for foreign industries and cars.

Any chance these big land deals might hurt Sierra Leone's struggling ability to feed itself again?

Well, not to worry. It's all been arranged, apparently. Even if there are some big questions as to how, as we hear from Canadian journalist Joan Baxter. Joan describes one case of land in transition. Devlin Kuyek presents a more global picture. He's a researcher with the non-profit organisation known as GRAIN, Genetic Resources Action International....

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Original source: CBC
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2 Comments


  1. Theophilus S. Gbenda
    07 Mar 2010

    Land grabbing is becoming a very serious problem in Africa. Putting a stop to this menace is a fight for all we the good ones. Thanks for taking up this all-important issue. The fight aganist such will however not succeed without educating the already branwashed public about the hazards of such an investment. It goes without saying that should Addax have its way, our country's food security drive would be seriously undermined. This is a reckless or exploitative form of investment, and that's not the type of investment that a poor country like Sierra Leone is yearning for. Theophilus S. Gbenda Freelance Journalist Freetown Sierra Leone 232 76 982623/232 88 916841

  2. Sari
    16 Jan 2010

    It sounds like local corruption an poorly informed government regulators is the root of the issue. The same thing would happen in Canada if they could get away with it. Time for the populace to demand and act for better government, or for concerned interest groups to counsel SL politicians.

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