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American "Hog Baron" Sets Sights on Tanzania... LAND GRABS!!!

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

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    Tanzania's latest and largest agriculture enterprise has invoked all the usual debate about international investment and ‘land grabs'. But who is the American at the centre of this argument?

    ARTICLE | 17 NOVEMBER 2011 - 11:31AM | BY CAMILLE WATTS
    [​IMG]

    A Tanzanian piggery


    What do Iowa and Tanzania have in common? If the multi-million dollar investor Bruce Rastetter has his way, more than you might think. Rastetter's Iowan-based Agrisol Energy Tanzania is on its way to acquiring 800,000 acres in the west of Tanzania to develop for both crop-farming and raising livestock. Agrisol Energy promise a large, modern, sustainable agriculture enterprise that will provide Tanzania with access to development capital and best-in-class agricultural technology, techniques, equipment, supplies and management. In conjunction with this endeavor, the company says it will provide education, technical assistance, procurement, and sales and business administration support to individual Tanzanian farmers and small landholders.

    Mixed reaction

    Despite the apparent benefits that the project would bestow on the Tanzanian people and economy, it has been met with a mixed reaction. At a time when 50 million hectares of African land, an area twice the size of the UK, has been acquired by foreign companies or governments in just a few years, the question of twenty-first century ‘land-grabbing' is receiving widespread international attention. Independent think tank the Oakland Institute has launched a campaign against the Agrisol development, claiming the project will forcefully displace 162,000 Burundian refugees who have been settled on the land for 40 years, destroying their livelihood, community and homes.

    As well as displacing the current inhabitants of the area in western Tanzania, the Oakland Institute argues that the project will fail to deliver on the promised benefits. The development will rely heavily on foreign, largely American, industry, meaning that little of the investment will actually reach Tanzanian companies. AgriSol disputes this, stating that it and its partners –
    Serengeti Advisers Limited, the Pharos Global Agricultural Fund, the Summit Group, and the State University of Iowa – are committed to behaving responsibly and sustainably in their outreach programs.


    So far so typical, as far as ‘land grab' disputes go. More unusually, the Oakland Institute has also launched an attack specifically against Bruce Rastetter, the millionaire businessman and investor largely behind the Agrisol development. Concurrently
    serving as CEO of Pharos Ag, co-founder and managing director of AgriSol Energy, CEO of Summit Farms and a key donor to Iowa State University, it is fair to say Rastetter has a vested interest in the project.


    Who is Bruce Rastetter?

    A native-Iowan who made his fortune in pig farming and ethanol production, Rastetter has already sparked controversy in the US because of the large sums he has donated to the Republican party. He has been referred to as a "kingmaker" whose backing can make or break Republican candidates in the state of Iowa and further afield. Rastetter also founded one of the most powerful conservative lobby groups in the US, the American Future Fund, and he is an influential donor of the Tea Party movement. His supporters fete him as an entrepreneur with a strong sense of civic duty, but some environmentalists and Democrats suggest his only motives lie in increasing his companies' profits and gaining influence over agricultural regulations.

    The Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a group that says it works for "social, economic, and environmental justice", has questioned Rastetter's business operations and political influence for many years. Adam Mason, an organiser for the group,
    accuses Rastetter of promoting factory farming in Iowa "that ran family farmers out of business" and polluted local air and water.

    Rastetter brought a group of Tanzanian government officials to Iowa in July 2010 to give them an idea of the development he envisages for Tanzania.

    Unsurprisingly, given that land in Iowa yields thirty times more than its Tanzanian equivalent, they were very impressed. One month later the government had signed the preliminary contracts with Agrisol.


    Can there be mutual benefit?

    Mason calls Rastetter's project in Tanzania a "wolf in sheep's clothing", but the investors, Rastetter, and the Tanzanian government seem to believe that the development could be mutually beneficial. Tanzanian prime minister Mizengo Pinda has repeatedly pointed out that 44 million hectares of land in the country are currently undeveloped, yielding nothing to anyone. The president of the UN-run International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo Nwanze, has rejected the term "land-grabbing" altogether, warning against throwing the baby out with the bath water. He places an emphasis on transparent governance to ensure that the benefits of foreign investment reach the population.

    Other evidence, however, suggests the benefits of the project are likely to be more one-sided. Agrisol described one of the sites in question, Katumba, as an "abandoned refugee camp", despite the fact that the area has a population of 70,000 people with a further 60,000 nearby. These farmers produce
    40% of the food for the district on 4% of the land. It is difficult to envisage how they will benefit if Agrisol take control of the area, but all too easy to picture how Rastetter, his co-investors and individuals in the Tanzanian government will.


    The onus of ensuring that this development produces a fair distribution of profit will now lie with Pinda's governance. It remains to be seen whether Agrisol will create a model for future African agricultural development or if "hog-baron" Rastetter will come to gain the title of "kingmaker" in Tanzania too.


    Think Africa Press welcomes inquiries regarding the republication of its articles. If you would like to republish this or any other article for re-print, syndication or educational purposes, please contact: editor@thinkafricapress.com






     
  2. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

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  3. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    In 2006, Sun Biofuels arrived in Kisarawe District and took land the size of 11,000 football pitches to establish a jatropha plantation - a crop that is grown for biofuels. 13-year-old Mariam tells how her dreams for the future were destroyed when Sun biofuels broke their promises.

    New wells, clinics, schools and roads were also pledged, but nothing has been built. Mariam's mother Halima Ali describes the promises that were made, and how little has been achieved.

    People are no longer allowed onto the land, so they are unable to access the nearest water sources or even the graves of family members. 89-year old Seleman Pazi has lost access to the land where his parents, his grandfather and his great-grandfather are buried. ActionAid is urgently working with the new owner of Sun Biofuels to resolve this issue.

    Villagers have also lost much of the land they relied upon to earn a living. Without this income, many parents like Amina Ali can no longer afford to feed their children three meals a day or pay school fees.

    There was no negotiation on the amount of compensation that villagers would receive for their land, and only those who have really pushed for it have received any money at all. Village teacher Ramadhani Athumani shows us the letters the villagers have written, campaigning to get compensation for the land.

    Promoters of biofuels say that they bring rural development to poor countries. But chairman of Mhaga village, Athumani Mkambala, has had to watch his community’s standard of living plummet since the arrival of Sun Biofuels.

    Many villagers also spoke of their worries for future generations. Without land to inherit or a secure income, grandmother Halima Weli wonders what the future holds for her children and grandchildren.

    Poor Tanzanians have been tricked into giving up their land to a biofuels company and are now even worse off than before. This case shows yet again how biofuel crops can ruin poor people’s livelihoods in the communities where they are grown as well as driving up food prices. A billion people already don’t have enough to eat. Biofuel use could add hundreds of millions more.

    Moreover, biofuels don’t even provide environmental benefits, as many have higher greenhouse gas emissions than the fossil fuels they are designed to replace.
    The great biofuels land-grab is only happening because of subsidies from European countries. You can do something about it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2016
  4. G

    Game Theory JF-Expert Member

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    Angekuwa Mwarabu au Muislam mngesikia ohhh JK ajiuzulu mara ohh nchi imeuzwa
     
  5. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    Kwani aliyemkaribisha huyo bepari si ni huyo huyo Kikwete? Kikwete ajiuzulu! P.S. Ufisadi hauna dini.
     
  6. SHERRIF ARPAIO

    SHERRIF ARPAIO JF-Expert Member

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    Upande mmoja ardhi inauzwa, upande mwingine hiyo ardhi ipo lakini imekaa idle. Lipi jema?
     
  7. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    American land grabbing in Tanzania: colonialism; refugees homeless Wednesday, 26 October 2011 15:46

    American land grabbing in Tanzania: colonialism; refugees homeless

    A group of Iowa-based investors is winding up a deal with Tanzania for an 800,000 acre parcel, now home to over 160,000 people. Several generations of families, former refugees from Burundi, who have successfully re-established their lives by developing and farming the land over the last 40 years, will be displaced against their will. They will lose their livelihoods and their community. Once they are gone, AgriSol Energy will move in.
    According to the AgriSol, an investment company, the land deal will benefit local farmers, increase food and energy security in the area, maintain sustainable farming practices, and offer "opportunities to buy commodities at production cost." But AgriSol will have the final say in all matters.
    "Locals will have little to no bargaining power, and any development opportunities for local farmers will be on terms set by AgriSol," the Oakland Institute said. Similar deals have been struck to increase production of biofuel crops.
    A letter to AgriSol from the environmental Sierra Club notes: "This will be a 99 year lease on unfavorable terms, a step back towards Tanzania's colonial past; that, reportedly, disputes are to be arbitrated under International Chamber of Commerce rules in London, which will further disempower local peoples; that AgriSol has demanded a change from the current prohibition of genetically engineered crops which threaten the local biodiversity and contaminate local crop species; and that biofuel production will subtract from the production of local food
    calories in favor of an export-oriented product.
    A write-in campaign by Oakland asks the company to drop the initiative. It can be found at oaklandinstitute.org | Oakland Institute is an independent policy think tank, bringing fresh ideas and bold action to the most pressing social, economi
    Global Information Network
     
  8. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    Wamarekani wanayo ardhi ambayo haitumiki. Sijasikia wanakimbilia kumwalika mwekezaji. Kitu kingine ni kwamba sisi Watanzania au serikali yetu haina long planning. In another 30 years idadi yetu itakuwa ni zaidi ya milioni 70. Sasa tukigawa ardhi hivi sasa eti imekaa idle tutalia wakati huo na kusaga meno.
     
  9. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Tanzania: Kilombero District boiling with land-grabbing disputes

    Press, African Agriculture , 24 July 2011, by Rose Mwalongo


    [​IMG]
    photo credits: imelda/Flickr


    "Land-grabbing is slowly becoming a serious problem in Tanzania, with the poor being turned into landless citizens in their own country in the name of foreign investors. Some Tanzanians have lost confidence in the country's leadership, opting to form their own teams to fight for their land rights.


    District officials have come under attack for failure to defend the land rights of their subjects, like the case of Kilombero district in Morogoro region. Residents of Namwawala village, for example, have, in recent years, been complaining that district officials are forcing them to give their land to investors for sugarcane farming.
    A fact-finding mission of the Legal and Human Rights Centre and HAKIARDHI in 2009 discovered that 10,000 villagers would be made landless when 9,272.54 hectares of their land would be given to a sugarcane investor.
    On April 2009, the District Land Officer, John Nzyela, showed a map indicating that Namwawala and Mofu villages would lose 6.032.55 hectares while Kisegese village would lose 863.53 hectares respectively. A study by the two organizations shows that the disputed land in the Ruipa valley involves four village...
    Tracing the history of the land in dispute, the fact-finding mission interviewed villagers at Namwawala village and some senior district officials whether or not the land has been taken by an investor.
    Acting District Executive Director Prudence Mtiganzi, District Land Officer Nzyela, District Legal Officer Bahati Chonya and Valuer Msafiri Mkude stated that the disputed land belonged to the government since the early 1970s. The land was surveyed by SUDECO (Sugar Development Corporation) in 1976 for sugarcane growing and other projects.
    However, the project did not take place until 2005 when SUDECO's successor, the Sugar Board of Tanzania (SBT) revived its earlier plan of seeking an investor for sugarcane plantations. It is yet to be known why the project failed to take off.
    According to Nzyela, the project area is estimated at 9,272.54 hectares making 62 percent of the land for the affected villages. In the 1970s the total project area was divided into six blocks A, B, C, D, E and F. However, blocks D, E and F were later occupied by people and registered as villages, later to be abandoned by SUDECO.
    The office of the District Executive Director says that SBT is just a promoter of the sugarcane farming project because of its expertise in the industry. This assertion, however, is in sharp contrast with explanations given on May 26, 2009 by the District Administrative Secretary Evarist Thomas Mbagga who claimed that the owner of the disputed land is SUDECO.
    Hence, it is unclear which government entity holds the disputed land; neither did the district officials show the existence of any Government Notice (GN) declaring the land to have been acquired (by the President) for that purpose. The only proof available is a map indicating the existence of the project area although its validity and legality is questionable.
    Whereas district officials accuse the village's committee as the source of an increasing tension in the area, findings by the LHRC and HAKIARDHI show the opposite.
    According to evidence collected from different sources, the real sources of conflict are two fold; namely lack of transparency in the process of establishing the said investment, and non-participatory decision-making in matters affecting villagers' interest in land.
    This contravenes the objectives of the new land laws which call for all citizens to participate in decision-making on matters connected with their occupation or use of land.

    For instance, to date the real owner of the disputable land is not clearly shown,nor the the expected investor. The fate of the victims is also not clearly stated as no alternative land is prepared and or allocated for their settlement after eviction. Above all, villagers complain that they are dictated to endorse and implement orders from above.
    ...villagers were told that the President owned the land and that he had ordered their eviction. This, however, did not augur well with most villagers who now seem aware of their land rights. In their report, LHRC and HAKIARDHI specify clearly the procedure that a president may use to take the land in accordance with the laws of the country.
    Presidential acquisition is regulated under The Land Acquisition Act of 1967 [2]. Part II of the Act empowers the President to a compulsory acquisition of land for use by the corporation within the community or agricultural development but subject to prescribed procedures.
    There are three stages in the process...
    Generally, procedures ... are not proved to have been followed in transferring the disputed land."
     
  10. SHERRIF ARPAIO

    SHERRIF ARPAIO JF-Expert Member

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    Sio ardhi tu, wana one of the world's largest oil reserves. Umesikia wakiharakisha kuyachimba? No!
    Kama hiyo ardhi iko idle na watu wanalia njaa, basi wacha watu waiendeleze
     
  11. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

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    Waamerika Tatizo ni Labor, Cheap Labor wamechoka na Wamexico too expensive to Maintain them sheria kuwapa Medical, Good House Education for their kids...

    So Bongo Tunafanya kazi, no need of Employer to Pay Medical Insuarance, Housing or Education for the Kids
     
  12. jmushi1

    jmushi1 JF-Expert Member

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    Hakuna ambazo ziko iddle na hakuna anayezimiliki hadi wananchi wanyang'anywe?

    Tz mbona ina pori kubwa tu?

    On the other side kuhusu hizo rasilmali zetu kweli tukizimaliza tutategemea nini zaidi?Hatujui they are limited?

    Kama utumwa hautarudi ni kitu gani?
     
  13. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

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    Sasa hapo tunakumbuka ya Mwalimu Nyerere, alijua fika tuna Ardhi tele, alijua fika tuna Gas ya Songosongo lakini hakutaka kuiendeleza kwa kutegemea 90% technolojia toka nje hivyo kuambulia asilimia 10% na haitatutosha ila kugombana, alijua tuna Dhahabu akaamua wananchi tu ndio wachimbe huko kwetu Nyarugusu na tulikuwa tuanauzia Banki Kuu na sio kwingine hakuna Mzungu mpaka hapo tutakapoweza kusomeshwa na serikali na kuanza kuwa na Machimbo ya Wazalendo kama Vile South Africa kama Vile Botswana.

    Hii kukurupuka na kuuza kila kitu kushimbisha matumbo yetu na kupata suti za bure ni Aibu

    Angalia Waarabu we Kepinski Waliondoka tu Tanzania lakini kuna Kepinski CHAD na inafanya kazi hadi leo kwanini waliondoka Tanzania? PR na Pesa
     
  14. SHERRIF ARPAIO

    SHERRIF ARPAIO JF-Expert Member

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    Zikiisha ndio tutatia akili mkuu. Wanyama wacha wasafirishwe hadi waishe huko mbugani. Tembo na faru wacha watandikwe risasi na majangili kila kukicha. Madini wacha yachimbwe hadi yaishe kabisa na zibaki kokoto tu. Then baada ya hapo wachina, wacanada na wengineo watatimua wakituachia baren land
     
  15. Chamoto

    Chamoto JF-Expert Member

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    Hii isha niaharibia jioni yagu
     
  16. ubun2

    ubun2 Senior Member

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    This is freaking disgusting that a govt. would just give its people's land away!!! :smash:
    You better believe it, this so called Iowan Hog Baron ain't going to think in your best interests, he will be thinking in his and his investor friends best interests. Just as ppl are standing up to injustices around the world, Tanzania people should let their voices be heard, stand outside PM office or whatever with signs saying NO 2 LAND GRAB-
    This is a tragedy waiting to happen. :hatari:
    There will be words like job creation, lifting out of poverty, let me help you. But you know what, those are just words. There will be no job creation etc. They'd rather you die of hunger and poverty, and suffering!

    Better stand up and protect your land. Because the current regime will not do that for you.
     
  17. PatPending

    PatPending JF-Expert Member

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    Mkuu, ardhi iliyogaiwa kwa Agrisoil sio kwamba haitumiki. Kuna makazi ya zaidi ya watu laki moja na nusu (angalau asilimia kumi na tano ya idadi ya wakazi wa nchi ya Zanzibar) na pia kunafanyika shughuli mbalimbali za kuingiza kipato kwa wakazi wake.

    Ni kweli kwamba kinadharia uwekezaji wa Agrisoil unaweza kuleta manufaa makubwa kwa taifa ila kama bosi wa IFAD na wanaharakati wengine tunavyousia, kikubwa ni transparent and responsible governance sasa kama unaweza kuiamini serikali ya Tanzania katika hili hiyo ni habari nyingine.

    Mifano ya uwekezaji hovyo hovyo ipo mingi tu ndugu zangu wa Kisarawe watakujuza kwa uzuri zaidi.
     
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