Walden Bello said that many of the deals were struck in dysfunctional and corruption-ridden nations, and rejected claims the land being signed away is of poor quality, and that the projects will bring jobs and improve infrastructure. “What we’re talking about is private parties using state contracts to enrich themselves,” he said. “It’s an intersection of corrupt governments and land-hungry nations.”
Des pays en quête de ressources alimentaires et des groupes financiers séduits par les perspectives du marché mondial de l'agriculture acquièrent en masse des terres arables dans des pays le plus souvent pauvres ou émergents, un phénomène qui inquiète des ONG.
The global food and financial crises have combined to create a new form of colonialism in which countries short of resources and corporations desperate for profits are buying up arable land in emerging nations, NGOs say. The non-governmental organisations have expressed concern at this "global land grab," which they say is threatening the survival of rural livelihoods in some parts of the world.
Recent unconfirmed media reports suggest that these countries are seeking as much as 20 million acres on which to grow crops that can be shipped back home for domestic consumption.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap noted that Qatar is looking for about 100,000 hectares of land for food production.
Stephen Marks looks at the latest rush by China and countries in the middle east to sign lease agreements in poor countries for agricultural production, and what this trend means in terms of food security and access to arable land for local populations.
Nomadic herders, rarely a priority for governments, are being dispossessed by bioethanol developments in Kenya, says Michael Taylor of the International Land Coalition (ILC), and they also depend on the “unused” land that Madagascar offered Daewoo.
We had a meeting today on alternative investment vehicles and discussed hard assets. One of the topics was farmland. There’s lots of movement in this space. South Korea just leased more than 1 million hectares in Madagascar for 99 years. Abu Dhabi has publicly announced intent to invest in around 500,000 hectares. This could be an agrarian ace in the hand for the Philippines.
The food crisis this year generated unprecedented interest in Cambodian agricultural land, and governments are scrambling for access to the country's vast food-growing potential.
Cambodia is in talks with several Asian and Middle Eastern governments to receive as much as $3bn in agricultural investment in return for millions of hectares in land concessions, according to a senior government official.
The initial welcome given to rich countries’ investment in African farmland by agricultural and development officials has faded as the first ventures prove to be heavily weighted in favour of the investors. The FAO warned of such a trend when it said this year that the race to secure farmland overseas risked creating a “neo-colonial” system.
Yang told the Philippine President that they are eyeing a 10,000-hectare land in Davao del Sur as possible site for their planned laboratory where they will conduct tests on the viability of growing traditional Chinese herbs, the main ingredient of JKG medicines.