OUTSOURCING AGRICULTURE TO AFRICA (9 July 2009)What is farm outsourcing? What is new about these investments?
• Sheer scale: earlier, the big land deals used to be around 100,000 hectares today their size has increased 20 times.• The farm race worth $20-$30 billion is ten times the emergency World Bank Package for agriculture
• Instead of cash crops, they would growWhy these investments? OR Why are they doing this?
They are responding to global food price hike. But most of the food importers are rich Arabic States flushed with oil money and can afford higher prices. What they cannot afford are the trade bans by food exporters to ensure their own food security. In the absence of fertile land and enough water they decided to invest in domestic farming and build their own food stocks.What are the attractions for the host countries?
Africa is rich in cultivable land and water. Raining capital will ensure new seeds, farm equipment, fertilizers, higher food production and ultimately food security.Investment brings agro-industrial production, new marketing, better jobs, schools, clinics and roads.
Then, why do people call them land grabbers and neo-colonialists.?
AGAINST OUTSOURCING AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA (25 July 2009)The African farmers have shouted down investments as disguised colonialism. They fear and see nothing fair in these deals that threat complete loss of livelihood. In this reckless scramble for Africa where foreign markets benefit poverty and protests are natural outcome.