Thursday, November 09, 2017

Globalisation - no solution

Big foreign companies growing crops in Africa often promise jobs and development to local communities then leave them in even greater poverty when their projects falter, a campaign group said. Overseas firms often lease vast plots of land in Africa for industrial agriculture or biofuel production, promising work, among other benefits, to those they uproot, said Swedwatch. But the firms often run into money trouble, change hands or abandon ship, leaving locals to deal with the loss of livelihood and environmental damages, said the group, which monitors the environmental and human rights.
Thousands of people were left without jobs or food in one case examined by Swedwatch, when the biggest agricultural project in Sierra Leone stalled for a year and a half. About 50 farming communities in the poor West African nation were dependent on jobs and food aid from Addax Bioenergy, a renewable energy company, after it transformed their land into sugar cane plantations for ethanol. But the project floundered in 2015 and its Swedish and Dutch investors, Swedfund and FMO, exited, leaving the locals without jobs, land or food aid. Local people said food insecurity worsened and they were forced to pull their children out of school.
"The negative human rights impacts tend to increase when land projects fail or stall," Swedwatch researcher Malena Wahlin told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "It's a general trend."

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