Posted on

The Cyclops of Farms Rears Its Head

800px-cyclops_p6110086

Touch the Soil News #538 (feature photo a Cyclops statue in the Natural History Museum of London by Deror Avi) It is difficult to grasp the magnitude of a secretive farm project for which details are often lacking. The size, scope and potential disruption of this project brings to mind the Cyclops of antiquity. The project between the governments of Japan, Brazil and Mozambique – called the ProSavane – has been in the works since 2011. The project plans to mimic a large project in Brazil in which Brazilian agribusinesses will replicate industrial mono-culture farming in Mozambique. Mozambique is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world…

Read more

Posted on

Community Land Rights (food) – The Global Powder Keg (Part 2 of 2)

Kisan-rallyPoster

Touch the Soil News #424 (Feature photo courtesy of HELVETAS) While much of the land rights issues and violations are taking place in third world countries, giving voices to indigenous people and their cause is coming from powerful first-world social activist organizations. Following is information on the five (5) international non-profits who are organizing the first International Community Land Rights conference in Stockholm in 2017. The Rights and Resources Initiative. This organization is a global coalition of 13 core partner organization and 150 collaborator organizations directly engaged in land and forest policy reforms (This organization carries material international clout). International Land Coalition. This organization is a coalition of 152 organizations…

Read more

Posted on

Is America Missing Out on the Ultimate Reality Shows?

600px-Flag_of_SADC_svg

Touch the Soil News #352 When was the last time you watched a television series designed solely to teach you urban food growing methods and how to eat better – the ultimate reality show. Believe it or not, there is a global growing awareness of how industrial nations have deteriorated in their nutrition and food. So low and so prevalent is the deterioration, that emerging nations in terms of economics and industry are leapfrogging over the industrial food model. They are moving directly to local and grow your own models. The following video clip is about an upcoming grow-your-own-food reality program in the Southern African continent. The program will entail…

Read more

Posted on

India – Onwards to Africa for Food

Emblem_of_India_svg

Touch the Soil News #307 From abroad, the Press Trust of India published an interesting story. In a recent public statement, the minister of agriculture in India – Radha Mohan Singh – admitted that India just can’t feed itself on its own. Singh revealed that India must import about 5 million metric tonnes of pulses (beans, lentils and peas) and about 14 million metric tonnes of edible oils (palm, coconut, canola, soybean and sunflower). Together that’s about 19 million metric tonnes (2,205 lbs.) of foodstuffs. 19 million metric tonnes is equal to roughly 45 billion pounds of foodstuffs – roughly 35 lbs. of food per person in India. . Radha…

Read more

Posted on

The U.S. Versus Kenya – Which is the Most Food-Progressive?

Kenyan KitchenGarden

Touch the Soil News #275 Recently the news conglomerate All Africa, published an article on kitchen gardening in Busia County, of Western Kenya. Kitchen gardening is the practice of raising leafy greens, vegetables, fruits or herbs in close proximity to the kitchen. The reason for the resurgence of home gardening stems around three things – health, income from extra produce to sell and its becoming “vogue” to do so. Timely rains and some irrigation infrastructure allows most kitchen gardeners to raise crops year-round. Local governments, NGO’s and non-profits are contributing to the success of kitchen gardening through training of crop husbandry, organic methods, and sustainable practices. In addition to kitchen…

Read more

Posted on

African Agriculture and Tongue Twisting Financial Mumbo Jumbo

Afrique-green

Touch the Soil News #237 Not too long ago I heard a successful entrepreneur explain how you get wealthy – you need to own the company! Venture capitalists understand this. In the least, venture capital understands it needs to control enough of the company to siphon off “exciting” levels of return on investment. As significant portions of “exciting” profits are withdrawn, how much is left for the entrepreneur, working people, suppliers and the community? Rice Farming in Africa. African agricultural assets are being viewed as key to global investor profits. Africa is hungry for capital – borrowed or from investors – it’s all the same. To package the language so…

Read more

Posted on

Drama in Africa – Target of Global Agricultural Investors

UgandaMayLooseLand

Touch the Soil News # 159 In a recent 2015 special report called “The Journal of Peasant Studies” the focus is on Africans being dispossessed of their land as global interests swoop in to control farmland and all things agricultural. The report finds that in many situations, foreign investors want to invest in projects, but don’t want to engage with the locals who have undocumented control of the land. In the United States, title companies keep meticulous records of ownership, title transfers and accurate legal descriptions. In many African nations, particularly in rural areas, ownership is often one of possession that may go back several generations. Hungry for cash or…

Read more