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Arabica Robusta

What's the new global source for fresh, shiny produce? Famine-ridden Ethiopia - 1 views

  • The new scramble for Africa was triggered by a convergence of events: surging demand for biofuels, rising consumption patterns in China and India and the 2008 global food crisis, when the price of corn and wheat tripled, almost overnight. Responding to sudden hyperinflation, rioting and panic buying, at least 30 countries, including Argentina, Vietnam, Brazil, Cambodia and India, banned or sharply reduced food exports. In short order, Japan and South Korea, who import 70 per cent of their grains, joined a parade of countries turning to Africa to lock in means of production beyond their borders.
    • Arabica Robusta
       
      Goldman Sach's food speculation is worthy of mention here.
  • When it emerged that Daewoo, the South Korean giant, had signed a 99-year lease granting it close to half of Madagascar’s arable land, protests broke out in Antananarivo, the country’s capital, eventually sinking both the deal, and the president.
  • as Heilberg told the German magazine Der Spiegel after closing the deal in Darfur, “When food becomes scarce, the investor needs a weak state that does not force him to abide by any rules.” Sudan, a dictatorship ranked among the five most corrupt countries on the planet, certainly qualifies. Heilberg’s deal was approved by the deputy commander of Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the official army of semi-autonomous southern Sudan. “This is Africa,” he recently told Rolling Stone. “The whole place is like one big mafia. I’m like a mafia head. That’s the way it works.”
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  • Some African intellectuals bridle at Western criticism of the play on Africa. “They’re here because we want them here,” says Teshome Gabre-Mariam, one of Ethiopia’s top lawyers. “We can’t ignore the development potential of this venture. We have everything to gain, nothing to lose.”
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    Every day, a workforce of 1,000 locals pick, pack and load hundreds of tons of fresh produce onto waiting trucks, including 30 tons of tomatoes alone. After reaching the capital, Addis Ababa, the produce is flown to a handful of Middle Eastern cities, entirely bypassing Ethiopia, one of the hungriest places on the planet. The trip from vine to store shelf takes less than 24 hours. It's the latest project by Saudi oil and mining billionaire, Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi. And it may be the future of farming.
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Arabica Robusta

Pambazuka - Land grabs: Africa's new 'resource curse'? - 1 views

  • development finance siphoned from Africa, whether through the extractive industries, or land grabs, are unlikely to be revealed as the IMF scrapped mandatory information exchange. Global watchdogs, such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) remained beholden to high-income nations as a ‘subsidiary’ unit in the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Meanwhile, the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB), founded and finance by the ‘big four’ accounting firms – maintaining units in secrecy jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands – prefers multinationals to self-regulate trade via arms length transfer. What this effectively does is enable multinationals, conducting 60 per cent of global trade within rather than between corporations, to determine the future of entire continents such as Africa, where primary commodities – extracted by corporations, account for 80 per cent of exports.
    • Arabica Robusta
       
      Corporate transparency reduced when IMF scrapped mandatory information exchange.
  • Studies by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) revealed, ‘Many countries do not have sufficient mechanisms to protect local rights and take account of local interests, livelihoods, and welfare. Moreover, local communities are rarely adequately informed about the land concessions that are made to private companies. Insecure local land rights, inaccessible registration procedures, vaguely defined productive use requirements, legislative gaps, and other factors all too often undermine the position of local people vis-à-vis international actors.’[1]
    • Arabica Robusta
       
      Oakland Institute and MNC transparency.
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