land grabs

Africa's farm land: a new source of exploitation

Africa's farm land: a new source of exploitation

Quick: think of something that Africa has in abundance. Given the tenor of most of the news we get from the continent, answers like poverty, disease, and social unrest may pop into your head. All of those answers are correct, unfortunately, but governments around the world, as well as investors, are seeing something else: land, particularly farmland. With aquifers falling beyond their refresh rates and soil fertility eaten up by erosion, over-farming, and/or deforestation, many governments are looking for new places to grow food. And Africa, as it has for centuries, is looking ripe for exploitation. According to the World Bank, “approximately 56 million hectares of arable land has been purchased or leased worldwide, 70% of which took place in Africa…