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Owning Land (some of it farmland) – Russian Answer to Wealth and Power

Touch the Soil News #682 If you are relatives of the Secretary of Agriculture in Russia, you can list yourself as one of the largest landowners in Russia and the world. According to a news group called “Crime Russia” immediate relatives of Russian Secretary of Agriculture – Aleksander Tkachev – increased their land holdings in 2016 by 455,000 acres. Organized under a company called Agrocomplex, this brings their total holdings to 1,580,800 acres and puts them in the #4 spot in terms of land holdings in Russia. The “Crime Russia” news piece identified the top six landholders in Russia: The Prodemiks Group – 1,951,300 acres The Rusagro Group – 1,654,900…

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The World’s Biggest Land Fight of All Time

Touch the Soil News #523 Emotions are building over ownership of the world’s largest cattle ranch in Australia. The operation contains 10 large parcels of ranching properties across Australia totaling some 25 million acres (1.3 percent of the Australian continent. Currently the operation is owned by S. Kidman and Company, which a few months back reached a sale agreement with a Ms. Rhinehart (a wealthy Australian and owner of Hancock Mining) and a group of Chinese investors. This group is referred to as AOB. The Kidman ranch would be owned 2/3 by Rhinehart and 1/3 by the Chinese investors. The AOB offer is for $276 million. The snag in the…

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

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…

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Drama in Africa – Target of Global Agricultural Investors

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…

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