In brief, South Korea’s Daewoo Logistics has announced that it has negotiated a 99-year lease of 3.2million acreas of farmland in, quoting the Time journalist, “dirt-poor” Madagascar.
That’s nearly half of Madagascar’s arable land, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Daewoo plans to put about three quarters of it under corn. The remainder will be used to produce palm oil — a key commodity for the global biofuels market.
So there is potential? Good. Now, not everybody is happy about this development because, and now we go straight to the Head of the Food and Agricultural Organisation sitting in Rome, Italy:
The U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP) runs school-feeding schemes for children in Madagascar, where about 70% of the country’s 20 million people live below the poverty line. The island’s residents also rely on WFP emergency-food-relief programs because of the frequency with which they are struck by cyclones and droughts. Given those hardships, the prospect of a corporate giant growing hundreds of tons of food to be consumed by people and animals in Korea raises “ethical concerns,” says David Hallam, head of the FAO’S Trade Policy Service in Rome. “If we have another world food crisis, and you have a poor country where food is produced by foreign investors and then repatriated, that is ethically and political tricky,” Hallam warns.
Go read the rest of the article for more nauseating view such as the above.
What the hell is Mr. Hallam warning the Madagascans (correct?) about? Why isn’t he utilising the land then, if he is so concerned about food security and ethics and political correctness? Surely the FAO should have heard someone somewhere talking about the benefits of teaching a man to fish over giving him canned salmon from Norway?
Aren’t we over this nonsensical “help the world” attitude that has not improved one single country’s economic situation since the UN was formed?
‘Trade, not Aid’ is not just a catchy phrase, it makes sense.
I say sell the damn land to the South Koreans – and throw in 10% of every other African country to the Chinese for a fee. The last time foreign countries took over land in Africa they didn’t pay a thing.