A land grab, or just free trade?

April 3, 2010

Ever since the global food crisis of 2008, countries such as China, as well as South Korea and the oil-rich but food-poor nations of the Middle East, have been buying up large amounts of land for agricultural production in places like sub-Saharan Africa, sparking concerns about a “new land grab” and “re-colonisation” of the continent. These terms certainly appear to be accurate, the neo-colonial relationship African countries have shared with the West since the end of colonialism proper has kept them poor and susceptible to unequal trade relationships, not just with the Western world, but with emerging economic powers as well. It is surprising however, that similar rhetoric has been used to describe the announcement that Chinese company Natural Dairy NZ plans to buy NZ$1.5 billion worth of farmland, cows and milk processing plants in New Zealand. Read the rest of this entry »


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