Marc Schober is the editor of Farmland Forecast an educational blog devoted to investments in agriculture and farmland.
Kazakhstan to provide 3.5 million hectares of farmland
Dec 21, 2009
Many Kazakhs are protesting after the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev, reportedly told the Foreign Investors Council that China had asked about leasing 1 million hectares of Kazakh farmland, according to Spero News. The Chinese deny any talks of leasing the farmland. Vice Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan, Armand Evniev claimed, "It is not a lease, it is a question of joint manufacture. In this case, it is soya and later it will be corn and rape," according to the Gazeta newspaper. The joint manufacture is set to start in early 2010.
Investors are not interested in Kazakhstan’s farmland because of its poor climate and transport infrastructure, Spero News reported.
If the Kazakh government goes in favor of a Chinese deal, it could lead to a “Chinese colonization of Kazakhstan,” according to Chinese expert Murat Auezov. Auezov suggests Kazakhstan deal with China carefully.
Land grabs are becoming more common, and can be great if both sides benefit from the deal. It’s reported that Kazakhstan is willing to deal 3.5 million hectares of their farmland. In return, the Kazakhs deserve improved transport infrastructure.
Protestors outside of the Chinese Embassy in Almaty did not like the idea of leasing out precious farmland. Citizens of Madagascar protested when the government sold half of its farmland for $12 per acre. The government was eventually overthrown and the land deal with South Korea was thrown out.
Farmland is depleting fast, and there is no way to create more high quality land. Large land grabs, such as Kazakhstan’s, will become more widespread as wealthy countries try to solve food security issues by attaining more farmland. First-class farmland values will continually benefit, because while the supply for farmland is decreasing, the demand is severely increasing with each land grab.
Read more about agriculture and farmland at farmlandforecast.colvin-co.com.