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Billion Dollar Checkbooks Still Buying Farmland

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Touch the Soil News #705 (feature photo – Ethiopian women picking beans – source, Executive office of the President of the U.S. 2005) The Australian Government recently released the latest statistics about who is buying Australian Farmland. As of the 2015-2016 farming year, foreign investment in Australian farmland hit $4.6 billion, up from $2.5 billion the year before. It is interesting to see where the foreign buyers were coming from. The top four buyers were: American investors bought $1.3 billion in Australian farmland Chinese investors bought $996 million in Australian farmland U.K investors bought $338 million in Australian farmland Canadian investors bought $240 million in Australian farmland   So how…

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Are Pension Funds Driving Food and Social Disorder?

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Touch the Soil News #678 (feature photo – protestors at TIAA, New York -Brandon Wu, ActionAid) TIAA, one of the world’s largest pension fund companies is trying to find an investment home for almost $900 billion dollars. Popularly known as the “teacher” pension company, TIAA is being accused of keeping its books closed to outsiders on its farmland investments. Last week (April 20, 2017) protestors outside of TIAA’s New York Offices delivered a letter to the company with over 100,000 signatures. TIAA is being accused of financing farm acquisitions in third-world nations (such as Brazil). Allegations are that the farmlands being purchased by TIAA were taken by local officials who…

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Farmland Theft of the Century?

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Touch the Soil News #651 (Feature Photo courtesy of ACT NOW) Down under – on a large island nation north of Australia called Papua New Guinea – one of the world’s largest land thefts is being uncovered and challenged. At the heart of the matter is a growing contention between the locals and their government. The locals accuse their government of illegally issuing SABLs – Special Agriculture Business Leases. At issue is that over the past few years massive amounts of land have been taken away from local holders without their foreknowledge or consent. Most of the SABLs are 99 year leases, to foreign companies and foreign interests – leveraging…

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