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Africa’s Richest Man – To Be World’s Largest Farmer?

Touch the Soil News #751 (feature photo – Aliko Dangote – photo courtesy of the World Economic Forum CC SA 2.0) In the U.S. today, when farmers look to buy land to expand, they generally buy a retiring neighbor’s farm. Mostly they are parcels of a few hundred acres. A one (1) thousand acre parcel would be considered large purchase. The largest farms in America are in the 20,000 to 40,000 acre range with a few that can be larger. Expanding his stake in the farming scene is African billionaire Aliko Dangote (age 60). Forbes estimates that Dangote has an estimated net worth of $12.5 billion, which puts him within…

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U.S. Treasury – Protector of 100,000 Indigenous African Farmers?

Touch the Soil News #420 Virtually every day there are stories of indigenous African small farmers being removed from their small farms. While each story is different, the themes are similar: 1) Large investment and farming interests say African small farmers produce low yields. Greater yields can lead to exports and cash for cash-strapped nations. 2) Taking their land, employing them as farm labor, or helping them transition to mono-crops for export, the small farmers switch from self-sustenance to more expensive debt – mono-crop farming. The kind of farming that has eliminated 70 percent of American family farms. 3) Often times the “cash” piece provides incentives for corruption in which…

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

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…

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African Agriculture and Tongue Twisting Financial Mumbo Jumbo

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…

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