Chinese agricultural group to acquire 200K hectares of land globally

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Freshfruitportal.com | 15 March 2011

Heilongjiang Beidahuang Nongken Group chairman Sui Fengfu

China’s largest agricultural company plans to acquire 200,000 hectares of land in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Australia, the Philippines, Zimbabwe and Russia in 2011, reported Chinadaily.com.cn.

Heilongjiang Beidahuang Nongken Group chairman Sui Fengfu, told the website the group was investing in each country for different reasons.

“In Venezuela and Zimbabwe, the group mainly provides machinery and laborers, and takes about 20 percent of the harvest in return,” he was quoted as saying.

“In Australia, it is mainly through the acquisition of local farmland. In Brazil and Argentina, the business model involves renting land.”

Argentina’s government is acting to create ‘intelligent’ laws surrounding foreign agricultural land investment, while a member of the team preparing the law told Diario de Madryn the country was currently seen as the ‘main point’ of farmland investment by the Chinese.

“They are aware that in Argentina we are trying to curb the indiscriminate sale of land to foreigners, and they want to hurry and close the deals as soon as possible,” he was quoted as saying.

The newspaper reported the group’s aim was clear and simple: acquire productive land rapidly to help feed the northern Chinese state of Heilongjiang’s 38 million inhabitants.

The story reported Argentina was of particular interest to Heilongjiang due to its relatively low-priced land in comparison to other countries, with plans to process grains and oils.

China’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress deputy director Wang Yunkun, told the China Daily his country should continue to seek farmland overseas due to its technological advantages and land scarcity.

“Countries in South America, for example, have arable land and need our technology and investment, and they welcome our companies. It’s a win-win solution,” he was quoted as saying.

The obstacles

Last year Brazil implemented laws preventing companies that were more than 50% foreign-owned from holding more than 5,000 hectares of farmland, the China Daily reported.

Last week website Gatewaytosouthamerica-newsblog.com reported Brazil was preparing rules to block foreign governments, state-owned companies and speculators from buying land, but would allow ‘genuine’ private investors.

Brazil’s Agricultural Minister Wagner Rossi told the website the nation wanted to block ’sovereign investors’, and while he declined to mention which countries were concerned, to most analysts he was clearly referring to China.

“We need to distinguish properly on the one hand between speculators and sovereign funds, which are a threat to our sovereignty, and on the other side, foreign investors who come with good projects,” he was quoted as saying.

Venezuela partnership

Earlier this month Venezuela signed an agreement to form a joint venture food company with Heilongjiang, as the country’s president Hugo Chavez praised the Chinese for providing food for their 1.3 billion people and exporting it too, according to Venezuelanalysis.com.

“With the support of China, with the work of all Venezuelans, with scientific work, we’re going to convert Venezuela into an agricultural power on this continent,” he was quoted as saying.

Original source: Fresh Fruit Portal
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1 Comments


  1. Talib Murad Ali,DVM, PhD
    19 Mar 2011

    The ideology of socialism and communism described colonials as northerners taking over the south. Now China, the largest communist country in the world, is becoming a major land grabbing country (i.e. neo-colonialist). This is south south colonialism. China no longer contributes to the world’s granaries but in fact has started to take from the world’s global supplies. The increasing economic strength of China is taking it from a nation capable of a degree of self sufficiency in food production to one reliant on other countries to feed its population of.1.2 billion. In the mid 1980s the Chinese used to consume 16 million tonnes of white meat per annum and it is now estimated that by 2020 the demand for white meat will rise to 85 million tonnes per annum. The question therefore arises how much grain will be needed to raise this amount of meat in addition to the grain required by China’s population itself. Food security worldwide will remain safe for a limited time if the Chinese rely on their food production capabilities. However as its economic wealth continues to grow, ( currently the second largest in the world), global food security will be more and more at risk as it appears that China’s appetite for grabbing agricultural land around the world is surpassing that of the Gulf States.

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