Somalia’s Famine – China’s Fault?

German official blames China for Somalia’s famine – By Edmund Downie | FP Passport.

Chinese investment in African farmland has ratcheted up significantly in recent years, as the government seeks to quell concerns about long-term food security. One estimate puts the number of Chinese farm workers in Africa at 1 million. Meanwhile, the Atlantic quotes a June 2009 report in the Chinese weekly Economic Observer that describes how Beijing “was planning to rent and buy land abroad” to deal with “increasing pressure on food security.”

According to the German’s African policy co-ordinator, China has bought up land in Africa, rendering many small farmers and herders there landless, and deprived of their livelihood.  Since many farmers and herders just use the land, and don’t actually “own” it, the elite landowners can easily sell out to foreigners.

China denies the claims, but

it’s worth noting that China is far from the only foreign investor with major land holdings in Africa today. Private and public investors from India, the United States, and the petrostates of the Middle East, to name a few, have taken their piece of the African land grab, which brought 15 to 20 million hectares of the continent under foreign investment between 2006 and mid-2009. By way of comparison, that’s equal to the size of all the farmland in France.(bold mine)

That’s a lot of land that’s no longer feeding African people.  No wonder the countries there are having problems.

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