24 May 2009

Outsourcing Agriculture ~ Talent & Money Flows

The latest Economist has an interesting piece on Outsourcing's third wave ~ Buying farmland abroad where they ask...
"Rich food importers are acquiring vast tracts of poor countries' farmland. Is this beneficial foreign investment or neocolonialism?"
Fascinating new developments here and on unprecedented scales... At the same time we have Michael Allen writing in the WSJournal that the Republic of Congo Goes Farming for, Well, Farmers...
"South African commercial farmers, mostly the descendants of Dutch and French pioneers who began settling the continent's southern tip centuries ago, are renowned for their ability to coax food out of African soil. Eager for their expertise and capital, African countries from Ghana to Nigeria have offered them incentives to set up shop. South African farmers have turned Mozambique into a banana powerhouse. Zambia became self-sufficient in maize after welcoming farmers from Zimbabwe and from South Africa. Such programs can be controversial, touching on sensitive issues of race, colonialism and land tenure. Agri-SA is addressing the concerns with a multiethnic expedition. "The farmers going to the Congo aren't just white farmers," said Andre Botha, who leads the initiative. "There's black farmers going with us...white commercial farmers...colored commercial farmers...Indian commercial farmers -- going to the Congo as South African farmers."
Both very interesting and emergent elements of the global trendscape. And as Paul Collier has noted, there's lots of promising opportunities for African agricultural reform.

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