Mon, Mar 2, 2015
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: Stop demonizing foreign investors in agriculture, they're not grabbing land

Monday, July 04, 2011

Author: Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

The rising food prices are stimulating interest in investing in African agriculture. But these investments have been criticized as a new form of colonialism at best and downright land-grabbing at worst.

A new report from the US-based Oakland Institute says that in 2009 alone, foreign investors leased or bought an area nearly the size of France (about 60 million hectares).

It is true that many of the land deals are not structured to benefit local communities. But it is wrong to claim that such investments will only help promote food exports at the expense of local needs. Such claims ignore Africa's determination to harness emerging technologies to promote agricultural development. The efforts are being promoted as part of larger strategies to stimulate economic transformation.

For example, in early 2011, the Saudi Star Agricultural Development, a food firm owned by billionaire Sheikh Mohammed al-Amoudi, announced plans to invest $2.5 billion in Ethiopia by 2020 to produce rice.

Ethiopia-based firms will lease idle arable land in the lowlands of the country. This is part of Ethiopia's plan to lease three million hectares to private investors over the next four years. Critics argue that Ethiopia should bank the land so that it can use it to feed itself in futu......................

To view our full article Click here

Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Investing - Seth Klarman of Baupost outlines his investment process as major stock market indices are stretched, Myriad hedge fund sold bulk of its Alibaba stake last year[more]

    Seth Klarman of Baupost outlines his investment process as major stock market indices are stretched From Valuewalk.com: As hedge fund manager Seth Klarman, leader of the $28 billion Baupost Group, reviews 2014 performance and considers investors gained near 7 percent on the year, he cons

  2. Adamas Asset Management and Ping An Insurance to co-manage $500m debt fund[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: Hong Kong-based Adamas Asset Management and Ping An Insurance Group, one of China’s largest financial institutions, have finalized a memorandum of und

  3. Opalesque Exclusive: dbSelect’s top ten FX strategies average almost 10% in January[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: In one of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (AWM)’s hedge fund platforms, called dbSelect, a number of FX Strategies did very well in January. dbSelect is a managed investment platform for unf

  4. Opalesque Exclusive: SEC’s Mark J. Flannery warns hedge funds against valuation misconduct[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: Securities and Exchange Commission chief economist and director of Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA) Mark J. Flannery has warned of the risks posed by market misconduct, particularly in the true valuation of assets by hedge fund managers. In his

  5. Dymon Asia's $3bn macro hedge fund lost 10.45% in January[more]

    From Reuters.com: Dymon Asia's $3.1 billion macro hedge fund lost 10.45 percent in January, performance data seen by Reuters showed, a month where many peers lost heavily after a surprise rise in the Swiss franc. Singapore-based Dymon, set up by Danny Yong, a former founding partner and chie