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What Can Be Done About the 90 million Acres?

Touch the Soil News #505

In the global rush to own farmland, Oxfam recently reported that more than 1,500 land deals sought over the last 16 years now have contracts and their intended projects are getting up and running. The problem is that these land deals cover about 90 million acres and up to 59 percent of the land is claimed by indigenous peoples. Tractors, bulldozers and corrupt local officials are pushing these indigenous people off the land and often into desperation.

Local people in East Africa perform a drama illustrating the perils facing many Africans due to foreign land grabs aided by corrupt local officials (photo courtesy of Oxfam).

When multi-million dollar checkbooks arrive in the poor rural spaces of Africa, Asia and South America – human life and well-being can often be the first casualty of organized capital and local corruption. Rumors and facts of evictions, killings and ethnocide follow those brave enough to fight for their ancestral rights.

Ninety million acres is a farm that is 10 miles wide and 14,000 miles long. What can be done about big capital wanting to capitalize on a world of less than abundant food and fragile – unprotected – people?

Oxfam International is but one of many global NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that are beginning to collaborate on what is turning out to be a global human rights crisis.

Following is a short trailer of the movie Land Grabbing:

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