As populations expand and food prices hit record highs, international investors are hoping to strike it rich in an unlikely place, Africa. We investigate one controversial deal and the surprising cast of players involved – including one of America’s oldest land grant universities.
A new report published this week claims farmers in Africa are being driven off their traditional lands to make way for vast new industrial farming projects backed by European hedge funds seeking profits and foreign countries looking for cheap food.
After a global food crisis in 2008, prices of grain and other staples tripled and agricultural investment in Africa has swelled. The crisis set off alarms in countries with booming economies but where arable land was increasingly at a premium.
Financial Times--When farmers start to plant chickpeas in a remote spot of South Sudan this month, they may well sow the seeds of a backlash. South Sudan seceded from the north in July and this Egyptian-run plantation is the most advanced of several big-ticket farming deals detractors decry as "land grabs" in the world's newest nation.
Vanderbilt Hustler--Mounting evidence suggests Vanderbilt University’s investment in emerging African markets may be creating a commodity crisis in the region, even as university officials and a hedge fund manager directly involved in the fund tout their potential for high returns and local benefits.
ONE--Thanks to the comprehensive property rights that we enjoy in the US today, our homes and livelihoods are protected from being seized by large corporations. Unfortunately, throughout much of Africa, this threat is a daily reality.