Land grabs: land deals that happen without the free, prior, and informed consent of communities that often result in farmers being forced from their homes and families left hungry.
In most developing countries, women are primary agricultural producers, and ensure household food security. They cultivate 60-80% of the food in said countries. There are approximately 500 million small farms, supporting 2 billion people. Land deals occurring between 2000-2010 accounted to 203 million hectares—eight times the size of the UK. The effect of these land grabs can especially be since in Africa. During decolonization, Africa exported 1.3 million tonnes of food every year between 1966-1970, whereas today, Africa imports 25% of its food.
This Thursday, Oxfam @ Queen’s food security campaign will be screening the documentary “Land Rush” in Kingston Hall. By doing so, we will try to create conversation and encourage to students to ask questions about the issues surrounding these grabs.
About the film: 75% of Mali’s population are farmers, but rich nations like are leasing their land in order to establish large agribusinesses. Many Malians do not welcome these efforts, seeing them as yet another manifestation of imperialism. This documentary follows an American sugar developer Sosumar scheme – a $600 million partnership between the Government of Mali to lease 200-square kilometers of prime agricultural land for a plantation and factory. The difference is that the developer sees the involvement of the local community as key to the project’s success and partners with local farmers as contracted sugar cane growers. The scheme is not welcomed by everyone, and the Sosumar experiment comes to an end when a military coup takes place in Mali.
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