The first sovereign wealth funds were set up in the 19th century, and grew slowly throughout the 20th. The idea, at first, was rather simple. If a state has excess resources – perhaps mineral wealth or a sudden boom in foreign exchange from exports – these should be tucked away for future use for the benefit of society.
Recently, however, governments have started diverging from this logic. Increasingly, sovereign wealth funds are being set up with no resources or wealth or sovereign character to speak of. Many resemble “public-private partnerships”, as foreign investors are invited into joint ventures. At least 42 sovereign funds are currently invested in food and agriculture. Some are major players, but many are less visible. Their investments may be in largescale farmland acquisitions and production, such as orange groves in Brazil, cattle ranches in Australia or vertical pig farms in China.
At best, some of these funds provide food security for a few countries. But sovereign wealth funds crush real visions of food sovereignty as they take resources away from local communities and push a capitalist, industrialist food system – be it green or not.
Read the full article at: https://grain.org/e/6976