Food Demand to DOUBLE by 2050. Welcome To the Global Land Grab for the New “Oil”

Posted on March 25, 2011


Why is George Soros investing in land in great quantities abroad?  For the same reason countries such as China and India are purchasing farmlands outside their boarders.

China purchased 100,000 hectares in Zimbabwe, part of a series of investments that have led to more than a million Chinese farmers in Africa.  [The American]

It is estimated that by 2050, the demand for food with population growth will double.  Further, there are worries of climate change. The recent earth quake in Japan with the attendant radiation contamination of a portion of the food supply and tsunami delivery of salt water to profitable farmlands now join more traditional factors that figure into this mix:

Increasing food prices are not the only reason for sovereign interest in foreign land purchases. The threat of export embargoes and a worldwide flirtation with protectionism, especially in the United States, have frightened food importers. The move toward securing farm land in faraway places can be seen not only as a bet on increasing food prices, but also as a hedge against a breakdown in world trade. Nations are showing a marked lack of faith in their ability to import food when supplies are in short supply. [The American]

Soros  started a private group to purchase farmlands around the globe as part of the new land rush or land grab as many call it.  Of course Soros is in it to make money.

Steve Fairchild, editor of Today’s Farmer, reports that George Soros raised $350 million to buy farmland in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Africa. [The American]

And surprise, surprise, Midwest farmers are doing the same thing.  They are forming private investor groups and buying farms in South America and elsewhere.  And their lands are safe at this time from takeover.

Productive and profitable farmers are likely to stay on the land, and will not be vulnerable to competitors from elsewhere. Neither China, India, nor the Gulf states have shown much interest in the American Midwest.  [The American]

Now a backlash against the sale of farmland to foreign interests has begun to spread.

A coup in Madagascar was at least partially caused by concern over a proposed deal with a South Korean company for a 1.3 million hectare lease. Hungary promised to allow foreign investment in farmland upon its accession to the EU. The accession agreement would allow foreign investment beginning in 2011, but most of the leading political parties in Hungary favor reneging on the deal. The Philippines nixed a land contract with China because of concerns about local food security. Farm workers in Mozambique resisted the settlement of thousands of Chinese workers on their leased property there. Brazil is promising to end foreign investment in land. Development groups worry about the displacement of local farmers, the advent of a “new form of colonialism,” and the specter of natives going hungry while food is exported to the country that owns the farmland.  [The American]

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SELECTED SOURCES FOR FURTHER RESEARCH

Journal of the American Enterprise Institute The American.

Farmland Grab.Org

Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development

US Department of Agriculture

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