Black People : The New African Land Grab

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Published on Thursday, June 30, 2011 by Al Jazeera English

    The New African Land Grab

    Foreign investors, with the World Bank, are acquiring vast tracks of land in Africa - at the expense of local farmers.

    by Joan Baxter
    The "town" chief of the village seemed to be in a state of shock.
    Sitting on the front porch of his mud and thatch home in Pujehun District in southern Sierra Leone, he struggled to find words that could explain how he had signed away the land that sustained his family and his community.
    He said he was coerced by his Paramount Chief, told that whether he agreed, or not, his land would still be taken and his small oil palm stand destroyed. He didn't know the name of the foreign investor nor did he know that it planned to lease up to 35,000 hectares of farmland in the area to establish massive oil palm and rubber plantations.
    Haltingly, he said that without his land, he might as well take his leave of the village. By that he meant that he was as good as dead.
    This is a ground-level view of a large land deal in Africa, where in recent years foreign investors have acquired tens of millions of hectares of farmland. In 2009 alone, the World Bank estimates that around the world foreign investors acquired about 56 million hectares of farmland - an area about the size of France - by long-term lease or by purchase. Farmland has become a favorite "new asset" class for private investors; "like gold, only better" according to Capital & Crisis.
    The World Bank has its own term for the new global land rush. It calls it "agro-investment" and has developed seven voluntary principles to make the land deals "responsible".
    Critics of the phenomenon - farmers' movements, human rights, civil society, w......
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/06/30-6
     
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