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Retirement Funds – Chasing Farmland – Implicated in Corruption and Violence.

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Touch the Soil News #491 Imagine going to the poorer parts of Brazil, a nation unfortunately gripped by corruption (see video below) with million dollar checkbooks to buy farmland. The story regularly repeats itself around the globe as local indigenous officials – intoxicated with the vision of large money – move to deliver the land for which millions of dollars are lined up. As we all know, land is not free and every bit of farmland in the world is occupied by farms or indigenous people. Getting the farmland out of the clutches of the locals has a name in Brazil – “grilagem.” Grilagem denotes using falsification of documents and…

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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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A Glimpse at the Big Picture – What Would You Propose?

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Touch the Soil News # 155 Earlier this week, Canadian farmers have worked themselves into an uproar over big money buying Canadian farmland. Only this time, it was the Canada Pension Plan – Canada’s social security plan. The rub stems from the Canada Pension Plan buying 115,000 acres of farmland in the province of Saskatchewan with plans to buy more. The Canadian farmers complain they are putting their retirement money into the Canada Pension Plan which then turns around and bids up the price of farmland right from under their feet. To add insult to injury, the Canada Pension Plan uses pre-tax dollars, while the farmers must use post-tax dollars…

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