When I read articles like this, I can’t help but want to press pause on life and scream ” What the fuck are we thinking?!”. Here we have countries like Sudan, Ethiopia and the DRC who are suffering from famine and depending on World Food Programs to help feed their people. Then we have powerhouses like China and Saudi Arabia coming in and dangling money in their faces; enticing them to make land acquisition deals and give up their land to be farmed for food to feed, not the starving Ethiopians or Sudanese, but the Chinese and Saudis who have run out of land and water resources in their own countries.
How does this make any sense? And who knows what is done with the money given to Ethiopia and Sudan in these deals because there is no transparency, and the farmers (the ones who should be at the table and getting a piece of the pie) are being left out of the conversation and kicked off of their land. Which just adds to the cycle of unemployment, lack of domestic agriculture and famine.
This is just the continual cycle we have seen in so many arenas: rob from the poor to give to the rich.
And this is just the beginning of what we can expect to see as climate change causes more drought and lower crop yields, and all of our natural resources keep shrinking until we reach world war over food and water. Surprise, surprise the developing countries will be the ones getting the shit end of the stick.
OK, enough ranting, read more about this for yourself:
If food prices are rising in the host country, will the investing country have to hire security forces to ensure that the harvests can be brought home? Aware of this potential problem, the government of Pakistan, which is trying to sell or lease 400,000 hectares, is offering to provide a security force of 100,000 men to protect the land and assets of investors.
Another disturbing dimension of many land investments is that they are taking place in countries like Indonesia, Brazil, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where expanding cropland typically means clearing tropical rainforests that sequester large quantities of carbon. This could measurably raise global carbon emissions, increasing the climate threat to world food security.