Documentary: Planet for Sale


NOTE: The copyright holder of the film has contacted to demand that links to other websites hosting the film be removed from this website. The film, which is available elsewhere on the internet, can no longer be accessed from this page.

ARTE | 3 May 2011

"This is green gold," says Sai Karuturi, CEO of Karuturi Global, on a visit to his 300,000 ha farmland concession in Gambela Province, Ethiopia.

Directed by Alexis Marant

Produced by CAPA PRESSE TV

Distributed by ARTE

The financial and food crises that have been rocking the world since 2008 have had a little known side effect: they sparked a mad race for control of farmlands all around the planet.

The key players: on one side, investors from both wealthy and emerging countries (Japan, China, Gulf States) that are looking to guarantee their country’s food security. On the other side, banks and investment funds that see farmland purchases as a promising new revenue source.

Shot on three continents, our film makes it clear that farmlands are being bought up the world over. Three continents and three examples that tell one and the same story: the story of a gigantic game of Monopoly, and the consequences it could have if nothing is done to protect the interests of small farmers and developing countries.

(Below is a still from the 55 minute English version. Information about the full 90 minute version in French can be viewed here.)

Original source: ARTE


  1. Mary I. Park
    05 Nov 2021

    I am very interested in watching this documentary, Planet for Sale. However, I cannot find it on the Internet. Could you send me a link or information about how to access, rent or purchase the video? I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance. Sincerely, Mary I. Park

  2. Addis
    08 Nov 2012

    The West encourage investment in their own country, but they discourage the investers to invest in poor countries. Because, the West loves poor countries !!! And, want to protect the poor from the evil investers ! kk

  3. Teddy
    14 Oct 2011

    A Government who doesn't care about the rights of it's people.Giving the land for free and allow exploitation of labor. I am disgusted

  4. Globalist
    21 Jul 2011

    Is continued living on AID supplied by the so called developed nations RESPECT??? so what if a indian company is going to do the farming, they will be employing US and PAYING US; they will also be selling the grains IN OUR COUNTRY!!! I dont see why it is such a big problem to everyone here... Govt. has not SOLD the land but leased it out- Mind you; when we are capable of farming oursevles we shall take it back... But for now this is a good thing.

  5. Solomon Dagnachew
    11 Jun 2011

    Meles and the nexus-of-evils are baptized by a book called 'Delphi betrayal'' i read this fiction last year....

  6. Hobbie
    26 May 2011

    Alexander, how about the sheer irresponsibility of land grabbing? With a world running out of oil and tycoons making sure alternatives aren't easy to acquire, is it such a good idea to be growing the worlds' food in a handful of spots that will require obtrusive amounts of oil to ship the food to our homes? Indeed I don't see a reason to panic, I see reasons to get angry.

  7. Alexander
    19 May 2011

    All developing countries are growing with the help of foreign investments. As longs as the business is done fairly accomodating local interestes there is no reason to panic. There is nothing evident that suggests there is expoitation. Infact this would bring in much needed development. Countries like India have only prospered due to globalisation.

  8. Hobbie
    18 May 2011

    I think the problem is that Karuturi is also, basically put, stealing land from other farmers. These farmers have a way of life that is their own, and while education is a good thing, just building schools and providing employment does not solve anything. In basic he is taking their land and then giving them jobs and then will sell food back to them that they could have grown themselves had the government cared enough to help them. What he is doing is just another form of colonialism. The new term is Globalization, which could mean something else if we humans were smarter and actually cared about each other.

  9. kk
    18 May 2011

    I don't understand why all commentators here are opposing karutri, they have never said they will not provide employmnet. They also have said they will give priority to local sales. They also said they will volenterly build the local economy.

  10. Takulaw
    14 May 2011

    Agriculture in Ethiopia remain ancient time back ward system, I cant mention what the so called Agri _Rural development office doing. Still WFP and many other NGOs continue feeding the people while community dependent's on Aid foods.

  11. Sanjaw
    12 May 2011

    I just couldn't understand why the government which alleges to be collection of Ethiopians does something that demise Ethiopia and its best interest?

  12. Anonymous
    09 May 2011

    First of all these are not investors. They are modern day ruthless invaders who enter other territory not with their armed forces but with their big $$$$$. Second, this is not what our ancestors will bargain for had they been around. They sacrificed for that country & we've an obligation to follow through. Third, this problem can be solved if we come together with some kind of visible plan and strategy. For instance, those of us who are in the diaspora can collectively buy back our land and do the same thing what these outsiders do. That is, we've to be more functional & come together for any cause that threatens our country and people as well.

  13. Henock
    07 May 2011

    Very informative documentary which I found it very helpful for my papers that I am writing on Land grad in Africa, the case of Ethiopia.The documentary clearly shows the fallacy between Foreign direct investment and agriculture led development ignoring the social and environmental impacts at it best.

  14. Ifaa Bakuto
    07 May 2011

    The TPLF ganges such as Melese Zenawi will soon auction the entire God given fretile land in that country only to fatten their wallet, since the TPLF/EPRDF team have full supports from the western's countries mainly USA. The Western have long experiance in pursuing double logic approaches. The only solutions that indigenous peole can do to take their land back is by setting fire on the harvest when it is ready to be harvested from all angles. For the last more than one century the Abyssinian's dectators never show any remorse for the crime they have commited, since they have big brother's back (USA). Fire is the only solution to stop the land grab by greedy monsters like Mr. Sai Karuturi of Indian's.This is development in any ways, BUT absolute colony. The indigenous people must so NO to Indian colony only by using FIRE as their voice since there is no power that listeing and protecting for their cry. Ifaa, from SCSU

  15. NigDag
    06 May 2011

    I am really very disappointed and confusing, what are going on in my beloved country.

  16. Anfeqa ze Bihere Ethiopia
    06 May 2011

    How embarrassing to see our mother land Ethiopia as in a symbol of 21st century slavery. It reminds me Roots (The Saga of an American Family). We were free back in the first and Second World War, but our people (women, children, and men) sold like a piece of furniture on the open market Cry…cry…..cry…my country Ethiopia, weyane passed on a death penalty on you… Minaw zendero Jegina teffa !!!

  17. Anonymous
    05 May 2011

    I am left with no words but only with a wrecked heart that may not get heald through my life time.Grabing the poor uneducated farmers by developed countries and arabs who have means of many kinds of survival techniques are not modern colonialism but it is modern canibalism and should be defended brutaly and agresively.They are no more living with their common senses but with their instinct like wild animals and they even should niether get a trial nor to be treated like domestic animals who get the chance to be slaughterd with rituals. Million deaths for Tigrian elites and their followers!!!

  18. seren owl
    05 May 2011

    I am left with no words but only with a wrecked heart that may not get heald through my life time.Grabing the poor uneducated farmers by developed countries who have means of many kinds of survival techniques are not modern colonialism but it is modern canibalism and should be defended brutaly and agresively.They are no more living with their common senses but with their instinct like wild animals and they even should niether get a trial nor to be treated like domestic animals who get the chance to be slaughterd with rituals. Million deaths for Tigrian elites and their followers!!!

  19. Yemerate Leboche
    05 May 2011

    We have to declare war on foreign land grabbers. I call armed opposition groups in Ethiopia to stand with the people and chase this modern day colonizers from the land of free people.Our ancestors paid a high price for this land who is now leased for fast cash by unelected regime of Ethiopia. The Magadascar revolt of 2009 is our model. Buyers and sellers has to be removed. The tyrant in Addis Ababa should not be allowed to collect any cash from our land.

  20. Wolde Giorgis!
    05 May 2011

    This is the arranged deal between authorities in Ethiopia and foreign companies for their own benefit. The poor Ethiopian citizens won't get a penny. Now, I am hopples that Ethiopia will get free of these none sense fascist rulers. I am a young man with a lot of aspirations in my country. But these guys are chasing us to exile whenever we challenge them. My friends Ethiopians from across the globe, please let us get together and revive our hope to live on our soil on which our fathers paid their live to protect it from Fascism. Let us fight the Fascist TPLF vandals!

  21. Lawrence A. Oshanek
    05 May 2011

    The food produced will be exported to people who can afford to purchase it .... most locals will be allowed to starve to death in bad times as the company will 'hire' 1 or 2 local tribes as armed guards and government officials will be well bribed. They will pay with US dollars which will lose all value - they have to buy land anywhere they can because keeping dollars is no longer reasonable.

  22. Ethiopian Citizen
    05 May 2011

    As an Ethiopian citizen, I want to say few thing for Ethiopian Government to re-think and reshape the Agricultural policy which should favor the Ethiopians first and able to reduce poverty. It is impossible to increase the productivity by only increasing the agricultural land but through wise utilization of technology (irrigation) on well studied land use planning.

  23. Gambella
    05 May 2011

    I did want my land to taken by Ferngiy. stop land garb.

  24. Melkam
    04 May 2011

    The challenges Ethiopians have been facing are the clear manifestation of failure in EPRDF's agricultural policy in particular and economic policy in general. Mr. Meles doesn't understand his hotch-potch policy implication on people's long-stayed cultural and religious values, biodiversity, ecosystem and so on. Soon or later Mr. Meles will face unexpected and violent hit from every corners of Ethiopia.

  25. IBM
    04 May 2011

    I hope the people of gambella and the lands forms india people well get a long and make better life for the aids food for the anger Ethiopian people Arounds the worlds, the Ethiopian people from the north,east south,regane are very anger people but not in our lands, we well we much and we soon from IBM

  26. jj
    04 May 2011

    You Indians and Arabs who invaded Ethiopia and Africa will be chopped like onion and gritted like carrots very soon. Leave for your country soon!!!!

  27. Umer
    04 May 2011

    Nice integration, this is definitely the new strategy 2 scramble Africa with its resources. Go a head, U have not only the World Bank but also those mercy-less African leaders are by your side. Why don't U take a million hectare. . . U can but famine is is usual here Oh God don't let we die of hunger. Ameen

  28. Ethiopia
    04 May 2011

    we need development,but we have to respect our own people first that is start of positive investment.

  29. Zelalem
    04 May 2011

    very confusing!!

  30. Prof. Marco Vigano
    04 May 2011

    Famine or export? Good, provided the million tons of 'basmati' rice will also make a difference to FAMINE, driven dy climate change in Etiopia. Easy enough: no restricitions, but priority to LOCAL SALES at govt fixed price for a limited period only in times of declared famines. Famines declared by WFP, not local authorities, I had a book prepared on famines in Ethiopia, and suddendly, three years ago, speaking about famines was... prohibited. Not only Ethipia, Sudan. You need to study Amartya Sen first. Need a copy of my book? Ask for it, mrlemalat[email protected]

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