I posted before about the new colonialism, when Western companies buy or lease large parts of arable land in Africa to grow food or biofuel for their own production.
Via For Those Who Want To KnowI just stumbled upon this article:
Daewoo Logistics of South Korea has secured a huge tract of farmland in Madagascar to grow food crops to send back to Seoul, in a deal said to be the largest of its kind.
The company leased 1.3m hectares of farmland - about half the size of Belgium - from Madagascar for 99 years. It planned to ship the corn and palm oil harvests back to South Korea. This deal will have half of Madagascar's arable land produce food for Korea. (Full)
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned this year that the race by agricultural commodity-importing countries to secure farmland overseas risked creating a "neo-colonial" system. A warning in the wind it seems, as more and more agro-companies make new land deals in Africa and Asia. (More)
Daewoo Logistics is not the only one leasing land in Madagascar: D1 Oils plc, the UK based producer of biodiesel, uses about 17,000 hectares of existing Jatropha plantations for its biofuel production since years. In addition to the 37,000 hectares of plantations in Africa, India and The Philippines. In addition to approximately 6,000,000 hectares of land available to the company in different countries under option to contract. (Full)
As a note worth mentioning: In Madagascar, some 50 percent of children under three years of age suffer retarded growth due to a chronically inadequate diet. (Source)
Picture courtesy of Pernille (Louder than Swahili)