Thursday, August 06, 2009

The African Land Grab

We read
African farmland prices are the lowest in the world.

Susan Payne, the chief executive of Emergent Asset Management is in the process of buying or leasing a total 50,000 hectares in several African countries including Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Angola, Swaziland and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Countries short of arable land, such as China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Kuwait, have been seeking agricultural investments in Africa.
"As an investor you can take advantage of that," she says.

The International Food Policy Research Institute , a Washington-based think tank, says that bargaining power is often on the side of the foreign firm, especially when it is supported by the host government or local elite.
"Since the state often formally owns the land, the poor run the risk of being pushed off the plot in favour of the investor, without consultation or compensation," the IFPRI says in a recent report.

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