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In-depth Article Details African Land Grab

Published on: 16:31PM Mar 10, 2010

Mike Walsten

An in-depth investigative report by John Vidal in The Observer, published by London's Guardian media company, and later published on Guardian.com.uk frames the scope, opportunities and strife associated with the current rush by private parties and nations to buy and cultivate food in Africa. The full story can be accessed here. The story highlights several of the big purchases in recent years including the size and locations of the land parcels and intended market for the food produced.

There are several key issues at play which includes land rights. Who really owns the land that is being sold. Many of the deals are executed between governments but local villagers have tilled the soil for decades and consider it theirs. This leads me to reaction no. 1: Thank goodness for our system of land deeds, titles and court system which proves and protects ownership and prevents a federal government from selling land to someone else.

Reaction no. 2: With countries putting this much effort into finding and controlling land for food production for their own citizens, surely the value of the highly productive land in the U.S. will rise at a pace at least equal to if not exceeding inflation over time.

Click here for the full story.

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