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In the Global Land Rush the Great Food Robbery Targets Africa May 25, 2012

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‘Biodiversity can only exist through the small farmers, indigenous people, and pastoralists who maintain that biodiversity. So what threatens them threatens biodiversity. The corporate food system is about taking food production out of their hands. With the structural adjustment programs in the 1980s and 1990s Africa was pushed to move towards export agriculture and “Green Revolution” style projects. Some moved ahead, many of them failed. Now, because of the rise in prices of agricultural commodities, corporations are trying to restructure food systems around the world to move commodities around more, and take more profit. Africa is increasingly being targeted as a centre of production for global markets. The talk now is that Africa is one of the last frontiers because much of Africa is not under the model of export production. Land and water are still in the hands of local communities. So there’s a big push to industrialize agriculture for export. Unfortunately, African governments are colluding with corporations who want to pursue agribusiness in their countries, with the help of the World Bank and bilateral and multilateral donors. …In Ethiopia, you have a government that has stated its policy is to go from 80 percent rural population to 20 percent rural population. Who can imagine what all those people are going to do? What’s the plan there? What jobs are they going to have? You can’t say that this is about people in Africa choosing to move to cities. People are being forced out of their lands through mining projects, land acquisitions, and overall bad policies…So much is at stake in Africa. Whole territories are being targeted and affected by land grabbing. And this time the governments are major conduits for it. How are people going to react? In Ethiopia, where the whole southern part of the country is being handed over, earlier this month you had gunmen attack a farm of Saudi Arabian operations and five people died. It’s heating up. It’s very explosive. Africa is under greater pressure than it’s ever been, at least since colonial times.’

Interview with Devlin Kuyek by Molly Kane      http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/82375


“…Here’s the truth: we’re never going to end hunger in Africa without upholding the rights of smallholder women farmers who feed the continent and care for its ecosystems.” http://www.nationofchange.org/dont-put-monsanto-charge-ending-hunger-africa-1338125745

“The Ethiopian government, through the Agricultural Investment Support Directorate is at the forefront of this African Land Sale. Crops familiar to the area are often grown, such as maize, sesame, sorghum, in addition to wheat and rice. All let us state clearly, for export to Saudi Arabia, India, China etc, to be sold within the home market, benefitting the people of Ethiopia not.” http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopia/the-ethiopian-land-giveaway-oped/#more-7083

Squeezing Africa dry: behind every land grab is a water grab

‘Food cannot be grown without water. In Africa, one in three people endure water scarcity and climate change will make things worse. Building on Africa’s highly sophisticated indigenous water management systems could help resolve this growing crisis, but these very systems are being destroyed by large-scale land grabs amidst claimsthat Africa’s water is abundant, under-utilised and ready to be harnessed for export-oriented agriculture. GRAIN looks behind the current scramble for land in Africa to reveal a global struggle for what is increasingly seen as a commodity more precious than gold or oil – water.’



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