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

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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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Agricultural Assets – A Modern Game of Monopoly?

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Touch the Soil News #355 The Australian Broadcasting Corporation recently reported on the trend of Chinese investors owning and controlling Australian agricultural assets and farmland. According to reports, Chinese agricultural investors spent $375 million buying various agricultural assets including dairy, beef and cotton in 2015. University of Sydney professor Hans Hendrischke said one of the reasons why Chinese investors come to Australia is because in China, there’s a crisis in the food market, a crisis of confidence, and people don’t trust food security in their own country. The place to go is Australia. Australia’s coat of arms. It’s not just agricultural assets that foreign investors are looking for, but other…

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Farmers Versus Big Capital

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Touch the Soil News #215 While the world stumbles along – embracing unfettered entrance of finance into everything – the Province of Saskatchewan is getting set to block big-capital ownership of farmland. This block is not only intended for foreign ownership, but the largest financial conglomerate in Canada – The Canadian Pension Fund (CPPIB). Saskatchewan women winnowing grain – 1899. The spirit of the land and farming continues to have a presence amidst powerful capital. Saskatchewan farmers and rural communities are threatened by escalating farmland values. The value of farmland is in the process of being disconnected from what the farmland can pay. So the bidding for farmland is spilling…

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