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June 9th
9:42 AM

US universities in Africa 'land grab'

Intimately related to our last post from yesterday on politicians & bankers turning foodstuffs into a betting game, as well as an earlier entry on Egypt’s food & water supply issues.

Institutions including Harvard and Vanderbilt reportedly use hedge funds to buy land in deals that may force farmers out

Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land, according to a new study.

Much of the money is said to be channelled through London-based Emergent asset management, which runs one of Africa’s largest land acquisition funds, run by former JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs currency dealers.

“The scale of the land deals being struck is shocking”, said Mittal. “The conversion of African small farms and forests into a natural-asset-based, high-return investment strategy can drive up food prices and increase the risks of climate change.

…“This is creating insecurity in the global food system that could be a much bigger threat to global security than terrorism. More than one billion people around the world are living with hunger. The majority of the world’s poor still depend on small farms for their livelihoods, and speculators are taking these away while promising progress that never happens.”  >continue<

foodramblings « a tumblr focusing on these issues

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