Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Western Investors Buying Up African Farming Properties In “Land Grab”: Report

Some prominent American universities and pension funds, among other wealthy foreign investors, are allegedly purchasing huge tracts of land in Africa -- acts that may lead to the eviction of thousands of local farmers, according to a study by the Oakland Institute (Oakland Institute), a California-based think tank.

U.S. educational institutions, including Harvard University, as well as pension funds, are using UK hedge funds and European financial speculators to acquire large agricultural properties thousands of miles away on the African continent.

Many of these lands are being taken in order to develop biofuel production, in place of normal food production.

Oakland Institute said in the report that the investors have little or no accountability in these transactions, while providing them with greater control over food supply for the world's poor.
This is very, very scary, said Anuradha Mittal, executive director of Oakland Institute,

Some prominent American universities and pension funds, among other wealthy foreign investors, are allegedly purchasing huge tracts of land in Africa -- acts that may lead to the eviction of thousands of local farmers, according to a study by the Oakland Institute (Oakland Institute), a California-based think tank.

U.S. educational institutions, including Harvard University, as well as pension funds, are using UK hedge funds and European financial speculators to acquire large agricultural properties thousands of miles away on the African continent.

Many of these lands are being taken in order to develop biofuel production, in place of normal food production.

Oakland Institute said in the report that the investors have little or no accountability in these transactions, while providing them with greater control over food supply for the world's poor.
This is very, very scary, said Anuradha Mittal, executive director of Oakland Institute.

The Guardian further reports that in Ethiopia the government is relocating tens of thousands of farmers out of their traditional lands while it negotiates property deals with foreign firms.
The scale of the land deals being struck is shocking, said Mittal. The conversion of African small farms and forests into a natural-asset-based, high-return investment strategy can drive up food prices and increase the risks of climate change.”

There are also grave repercussions for the world’ hungry.

We have seen cases of speculators taking over agricultural land while small farmers, viewed as squatters, are forcibly removed with no compensation, said Frederic Mousseau, policy director at Oakland, said:

This is creating insecurity in the global food system that could be a much bigger threat to global security than terrorism. More than one billion people around the world are living with hunger. The majority of the world's poor still depend on small farms for their livelihoods, and speculators are taking these away while promising progress that never happens.

Mittal warned of grave danger from these land grabs.

“The same financial firms that drove us into a global recession by inflating the real estate bubble through risky financial maneuvers are now doing the same with the world’s food supply,” she said.
“In Africa this is resulting in the displacement of small farmers, environmental devastation, water loss and further political instability such as the food riots that preceded the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions.”

More Here:

http://www.ibtimes.com/western-investors-buying-african-farming-properties-land-grab-report-289401

4 comments:

Matt Franko said...

"U.S. educational institutions, including Harvard University, as well as pension funds,"

ZIRP strikes again....

Bob said...

You can't stop primitive accumulation, or "progress".

Andrew Anderson said...

But primitive accumulation need not be subsidized by government privileges* for private credit creation.

*e.g. government-provided insurance of deposits at private banks instead of allowing all citizens to have inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank itself

Neil Wilson said...

"ZIRP strikes again..."

More: "private pensions are a fallacy of composition and unsustainable".

If you want public funding of pensions, why not simply increase the state pension? Then everybody wins, not just rich people.