Broad Oak: your emotional support animal

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

John Company colonizes Ethiopia

Two recent themes on this blog have been (a) agricultural investment and (b) companies that are as powerful (and possibly as wicked) as governments.

How about the "resettlement" of 1,500,000 Ethiopians to make way for corporate agri-grab?

That story ran in January, but there's lots more on this long-running issue - just Google up "land seizure ethiopia" or similar. And it's happening across Africa.

If you need a current hook to hang it off, here's a Norwegian story reproduced on farmlandgrab.org. Google Translate will give you enough to get the gist, e.g.:

Nykolonialisering in the form of landrov may have different face from country to country. The common denominator is that topsoil has been the hottest investment item, after the housing market broke down. Money pursuit of profit. Investors know that food and topsoil is scarce. It is important to position themselves. Liberti citing an unnamed manager of a South American investment fund. He goes straight to the point at a conference for investors, "We need to stop beating around the bush.

Agroindustrielle big companies take croplands, water and markets away from farmers. We can sell our products at lower prices and undercut peasant family farms. It must make decisions which are also of political nature.
The world needs an effective agricultural producing on a large scale.

But it is not possible to promote this model without any loses. "Many believe that everything is taken political decisions. Bond activist Henry Saragih from Indonesia is The Guardian hailed as one of the fifty people who can save the world.
He says landrov is part of a agroindustriell model that is being promoted by the World Bank, IMF, FAO and the EU:

"On the basis of vaguely worded principles of" responsible investment in agriculture "legitimize these institutions actually broader violations of farmers' rights."

"... the World Bank, IMF, FAO and the EU": as an idealistic teenager/tweenie, I liked the idea of supranational government. Now, I begin to think that it, and the money-forces to which it allies itself, pave the way for an evil worldwide oligarchy. Just wait till they have no further need for ourselves. Meanwhile, Ethiopians are being turfed off like the Chechens under Stalin.

3 comments:

James Higham said...

as an idealistic teenager/tweenie, I liked the idea of supranational government. Now, I begin to think that it, and the money-forces to which it allies itself, pave the way for an evil worldwide oligarchy

No one who's woken up to that can consider himself of the Left henceforth.

Sackerson said...

I should have thought that many who are labelled Left and Right would have the same opinion on this.

Sackerson said...

P.S. Remember this?

http://theylaughedatnoah.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/handy-dandy-pigs-are-famers.html