More on a Land Grab from the Poor

8 Mar

A little while ago, I put up a post called ‘The New Enclosures’ about wealthy companies and individuals buying and leasing hundreds of thousands of hectares in poor nations in order to grow food and bio-fuels for export. Yesterday, the Guardian carried a long article on this alarming new trend. In it, journalist John Vidal makes it clear that in most cases the land already has owners, subsistence farmers or pastoralists who are being heartlessly evicted so that millionaires can make more millions. Another point he raises: the amount of water they use will reduce levels for nearby farmers, and the amount of pesticides and fertiliser they’ll need will contaminate what remains of their supply.

One of the areas targeted for exploitation is Oromia in Ethiopia. That’s the same province where the great ABDC results I wrote about in my previous post have been empowering rural communities. These massive farms amount to nothing less than an extraordinary attack on the world’s poorest people. We need to know about it and think about how to stop it.

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