and the Scramble for Africa continues...

Oil, diamonds, cocoa - na old tory....these days its all about the acreage - in farmland, that is.

The Integrated Regional Information Network of the United Nations reports that Norwegian-based company, Biofuel Africa Limited, is responsible for the forced displacement of Northern Ghanaian farmers and their families. No longer used for subsistence farming, work on the over-20,000 acres of formerly Ghanaian land has now shifted towards the harvesting of the Jatropha carcus seed. Extract of the seed is then used for the sole purpose of biofuels generation...and nothing else. While the company purports that they have offered such displaced persons better alternatives to their former lands, the majority of the farmers have yet to receive the fruits of the said negotiations. Report from local activist on discussions between community members and the Norwegian company can be found here.

The post-colonial scramble for African farmland is not a new one. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Korea have long purchased African farmland for the purpose of feeding their growing populations: see here and here. For a continent marred by food insecurity, the idea of arable land for sale to the highest foreign bidder is quite unthinkable. Though, it has all the trappings of the conventional pre-colonial story - abundant natural resources, wuru wuru deals with supposed village heads, weak national land acquisitions policies.

5 comments:

  1. nneoma said...:

    @pakkaramu - thanks for visiting...stop by again

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  1. culturesoup said...:

    This sounds suspiciously similar to a proposal i came across a while ago for developing solar energy. Using portions of the Sahara desert to generate electricity is a great idea but i find it absurd that it will be destined for Europe with not a concern about supplying the countries in the region.

  1. nneoma said...:

    @StandTall - sure

    @culturesoup - unfortunately, that is the sad reality. our governments have failed to protect our the people's interest. honestly, the only way i see out of this problem is to go to international bodies to regulate such takeovers. if not, i wouldnt be surprised if our children start quoting statistics of the percentage of african land NOT owned by africans