27 November 2011

Food, Water and Land Grabs

When we experience drought conditions in Virginia we remember the way that land and water work together. In a day to day way that relationship is experienced by the food we eat, the grass we play on, the green of the trees that shade us, relief from summer's heat, the vibrant colors of autumn and blossoms of spring, the flow of the James River and its tributaries. We know that waterside land is sought after and therefore has a higher market value. We know that wars both small and large have been fought over land and water rights - recall any of the endless cowboy movies about cattle ranchers versus farmers? Well, now the geopolitical land grab is being driven in part by the very basic need for water for food production and the place, as usual, that is rich in land and water is Africa. The buying programs of the UK and Saudi Arabia are the focus of the article linked below. But China, Russia, the US and most of the former colonizing nations of Europe are involved in one way or another in similar encroachments around the continent.

How food and water are driving a 21st-century African land grab



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