The African Land Grab – from the ecologist

The African Land Grab has reached staggering proportions: where 203 million hectares are changing hands to foreign governments in around 2,000 mainly secretive land deals.

 In this article, The Ecologist points to the fact that this rush for securing increasingly scarce land, has minimal positive if not damaging effects to the local societies: the food produced is re-sold at the more profitable world market so that food security may worsen for the local population, the jobs are scarce and low-paid, leases are often at low or zero rent so that local governments barely benefit.

The article shows that some efforts have been made to insure more fair investments that can ensure benefits to the original owners of the land. Interestingly, however, “it is the 500 million smallholder farmers who feed the great majority of the poorest 2 billion people on our planet.”

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