FOOD NEWS: Courtesy Dan McGovern; Land Grabs in Africa By Speculators…Not Good News

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 818)

The public is overwhelmed with news of  the escalation of food prices and food shortages. Despite that, published below is what could be another contributing factor to those issues that has not been as well publicized as climate change, etc. and other factors.

“Hedge funds and other speculators reportedly have bought African farmland the size of France in 2009, former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan said Saturday,” according to a press relese issued by Sustainable Food News on June 27th.

Annan was in Rome delivering the 27th McDougall Memorial Lecture at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization food security summit.  He attacked the growing practice of ‘land grabbing’ by which countries are buying or leasing land in other nations to increase their own food security.  “It is neither just nor sustainable for farmland to be stolen from communities in this way nor for food to be exported when there is hunger on the doorstep,” Annan said.  “Local people will not stand for this abuse – and neither should we.”

Annan, chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, has warned that the current food security crisis, with almost one billion people hungry, could turn into a permanent disaster, endangering millions of lives as well as international cooperation. He did say, however, that large commercial farms have a role to play but must integrate their activities within communities, serving as a hub to link smallholder farmers to value chains – markets, supermarkets and agribusiness.”

Sustainable Food News is published by Hill resident Dan McGovern.  It’s the largest, on-line only, sustainable food newsletter to the organic food industry today.  For more information, please call Dan at 207 – 749-5249.