Monday, February 2, 2009

The Farms Race

While the world's nations vie for control of affordable energy, another equally important commodity may cause conflict in the future - food. And perhaps more importantly, the fertile land on which food is produced. This article highlights cash rich/arable land poor countries that are purchasing large swaths of such land.

The Saudis are not alone in the global land grab. Any country that worries about long-term food security because of a shortage of fertile land, and has the wealth to do something about it, is on the hunt: United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Libya, India, China, Japan, plus a number of investment and private-equity funds. A report published in the autumn by the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development said that "public and private corporations and industrial groups are buying millions of hectares of land in Africa, Asia and Latin America to produce food or agrofuels."
This could end up affecting Western nations as well. I have previously highlighted how American farmland is decreasing rapidly. This fact, juxtaposed with the parable of Squanderville vs. Thriftsville, should be cause for alarm.


Global Patriot said...

As resources become scarce, the three that could inspire increase military action are oil (we've already seen this in Iraq) water and land.

The trend is not very encouraging, as countries and corporations seek to corner supplies of each precious commodity.

Chief said...

I couldn't agree more; however, if you throw in religion, I think you just described the impetus for virtually every war fought by man since the dawn of time.

Key differences that appear now are the increased destructive capabilities of our weapons and the tight intertwining of global economic systems.