By Carey L. Biron
WASHINGTON, Dec 6 2012 (IPS) - Foreign direct investment (FDI) both into and out of developing countries is at or nearing record levels, an arm of the World Bank reported on Thursday.
The wave of fund investment in farmland has reached only a fraction of its potential, even after hitting up to $40bn, with the potential to hit $1,000bn as it gains a "natural home" in portfolios.
Macquarie, estimating that institutional investment in farmland had reached "a modest" $30bn-40bn, said there was "significant" scope for funds to increase their ownership of a sector worth an estimated $8,400bn overall.
A new report finds that some of the biggest funds are involved in deals that could shortchange subsistence farmers in the developing world.
Over the past five years there has been a staggering increase in land for investment deals across Africa by foreign governments and private investors. The Oakland Institute has been researching and documenting land grab investments.
The nineteenth century Scramble for Africa marked the pinnacle of European colonial ambitions on the Continent. In the period of just twenty years, the majority of Africa went from being independent to colonies of the European powers, primarily of France and Britain.
Oxfam’s Phil Bloomer reports on the shocking scandal of (mostly) secretive land-grabbing, usually from those least able to defend their rights.
There is growing concern in some African countries over the purchase of vast pieces of land in Africa by foreign business interests and governments and by the local elite. A report released last year by the researchers of the Oakland Institute in the United States said outside governments and foreign corporations have been purchasing large areas of land in Africa. The Society of the Missionaries of Africa, also known as the White Fathers, has also expressed concerns about this trend.
Oxfam called on the World Bank to stop aiding foreign investors, including the oil-rich Persian Gulf monarchies, buying up vast tracts of farmland in Africa.
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- The Oxfam charity has called on the World Bank to stop aiding foreign investors, including oil-rich Persian Gulf monarchies that can't grow their own food, buying up vast tracts of farmland in Africa and other developing regions.