Grabbed

www.globalissues.org
6 min read
fairly difficult
MADRID, Oct 22 (IPS) - "Imagine that the land your family has worked for generations is suddenly stripped away from you, purchased by wealthy companies or governments to produce food or bio-fuels or simply as a profitable investment for other people, often far away. You watch on helplessly as vast tracts of land are cleared for mono-culture crops and rivers are polluted with run-off and chemicals."
One of the lingering effects of the food price crisis of 2007-08 on the world food system is the proliferating acquisition of farmland in developing countries by other countries seeking to ensure their food supplies. Credit: Bigstock



Unfortunately, this is happening all around the world – in particular in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Oceania and Eastern Europe.

Perhaps this is one of the most appropriate introductions to the worldwide extended practice of 'land grabbing', as mentioned by a global grassroots organisation, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, and "counteract the rise of fast life and combat people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us."

What is land grabbing?

Land grabbing is a practice consisting of the purchase or lease of large tracts of fertile land by public or private entities, a phenomenon that rose significantly following the 2007-2008 world food economic crisis, describes the Slow Food organisation.

Today land grabbing involves millions of hectares, equivalent to an area as big as Spain, and it continues to spread relentlessly, it adds.

"Transferring large parcels of agricultural land away from local communities threatens food sovereignty and their very existence. It also jeopardises the environment and biodiversity by favouring intensive monoculture farming reliant on fertilisers and pesticides."

Maybe you would like to know that, since its beginnings, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people in over 160 countries, working to ensure that everyone has access to good, clean and fair food.

"One of the lingering effects of the food price crisis of 2007-08 on the world food system is the proliferating acquisition of farmland in developing countries by other countries seeking to ensure their food supplies."

In other words, land grabbing is the practice of large-scale land…
Baher Kamal
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