onsdag 24 november 2010

Land grabbing - neo-colonialism in Africa

I remember listening to a programme on P1 approximately 3 years ago when there was a new food crisis worldwide, riots in Haiti and Cameroon among others. I especially remember this interview because the person (don't remember who it was) claimed that there was actually a silver lining here. The need for food and biofuel and increasing oil prices worldwide could lead to increased and improved farming in Africa. That farmers in Africa finally would get paid for what they produced. And then I read this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/07/food-water-africa-land-grab & also in DN http://www.dn.se/ekonomi/kontinent-till-salu-1.1213018

Land grabbing is when foreign companies, mainly Gulf States (Saudi, Qatar, Dubai...) and China move in and buy or lease large amount of agricultural land in Africa and by doing so are causing massive displacement of small farmers, with little or no compensation for the land they've lost.

Ethiopia (what a shocker) is one of the countries where much of the land grabbing is take place, very often at a very low cost for foreign investors. A country where millions are dependent on food aid sell off some of their best agricultural land. The Government in Ethiopia claims that it is a good deal since foreign direct investment and job opportunities are increasing. But couldn't the land be more wisely used, especially considering the water and food scarcity that will be the result of global warming?

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