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Land grab in Tanzania, Africa to leave make many people landless

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Magobe T, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. M

    Magobe T JF-Expert Member

    Dec 24, 2009
    Joined: Mar 19, 2008
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    I've read land grab reports on Tanzania and Africa in general and came across the following:

    ‘Saudi officials from the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce were warmly welcomed, their plan to lease 500,000 hectares of Tanzanian farmland in order to ensure Saudi Arabia's future requirements for rice and wheat, almost immediately approved.

    "Tanzania is ready to do business with you," Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete told Saudi businessmen on a state visit to Riyadh. "There is 40.5 million hectares of good arable land available immediately."

    Saudi Arabian investors have paid US$100 million for an Ethiopian farm where they hope to grow wheat and barley, adding to the millions of acres they already own in the war-ravaged country, as well as in neighbouring Sudan.

    The Saudis also have land in Indonesia and Thailand for growing rice. China owns vast tracts of overseas land, mainly in Algeria and Zimbabwe, and one estimate suggests that more than a million ethnic Chinese farm workers will be living on the continent this year. Kenya and Tanzania have leased land while the Ugandans have been big sellers, allocating two million acres of land to Egypt for wheat and corn.

    But the issue is not a clear-cut case of neo-imperialism. At the African Union (AU), the agriculture commissioner, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, is worried that many land buyers are ignoring the interests of local farmers and communities. But the AU also recognises that bringing new capital into Africa could be positive if it is directed in the right way. Instead of purchasing land, she says, buyers or lease-holders should invest through production and trade agreements with the host country.

    To date, South Korea acquires 1,704,000 acres of Sudanese land for wheat cultivation; the Emirates is investing in the acquisition of 933,000 acres, also in the Sudan, for corn, alfalfa, wheat, potato and bean cultivation. Saudi Arabia is reportedly seeking 1,235,000 acres, while China has purchased 6.9 million acres in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for an oil palm plantation and is seeking 4.94 million acres in Zambia for a jatropha plantation.

    British and other European interests have also been actively acquiring freehold and leases in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania, including 5,500 acres for the UK's Sun Biofuels in Tanzania, 24,700 hectares in Nigeria by Trans4mation Agritech, 111,000 acres in Tanzania by the CAMS group in Tanzania, 32,000 acres by SEKAB in Mozambique in a venture that is now being wound down.

    Companies seeking more stable long-term profits are investing in agricultural land. In countries that already have shaky governments or civil war, foreign corporate investment may not end up being that stable or even profitable. Deals have already fallen through because of the risk. Other firms like UK Sunbiofuels are ignoring the risks and moving full-steam ahead with investment in crops such as sugarcane for ethanol in Tanzania.

    International agencies' first detailed report on the trend, published on May 25, 2009, estimated that nearly 2.5 million hectares (6.2 million acres) of farmland in five sub-Saharan African countries has been bought or leased since 2004 - an investment of US$919.98 million.'

    Q. It's worrying! Will most Tanzanians not be landless in the future?

  2. M

    Magobe T JF-Expert Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Joined: Mar 19, 2008
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    Mods, please, correct the headline to read: Land grab in Tanzania, Africa to leave many people landless