Land : The New International Strategic Asset. How Africa is losing big time. - ModernGhana.com
The international craze for a reduction of carbon dioxide emission from fossil fuel guzzling cars and industries has led to an intense focus on biofuels as the solution to the pollution and associated global warming. But the production of biofuels is not taking place in the open sky; it is taking place on land and is leading to a new social cancer that is slowly beginning to emerge. The focus on biofuels as alternative to oil, gas and coal has put new and unrealistic demand on land, and it is on record to make land the most strategic commodity in the 21st Century. Driven largely by a global cartel of land speculators, many energy and agro-multinational corporations are strategically acquiring agricultural lands in poor countries of the global south at a rate never anticipated by land economists before. The 2007 and 2008 food crisis and its associated price hikes has forced rich but food insecure countries in the Middle East and the Gulf Region to scrounge for lands in Africa further complicating matters. Meanwhile the belief in some countries in Africa like Sudan and Ethiopia that heavy injections of foreign capital will enhance agricultural technology, boost local employment, revitalize sagging agricultural sectors, and ultimately improve agricultural yields has given the corporations a field day with serious social, economic, political and environmental consequences.