"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Australia and Africa become Arab Food Colonies

Australia becomes a Food Colony for Qatar.
Raby Station at Warren, bought by Qatar Investment Authority’s Hassad Food in 2010 after earlier buying Clover Downs at Cunnamulla from Clyde for $18.5 million and “Kaladbro Estate” in western Victoria for about $25m in late 2009. Hassad also bought 6800 hectares around Canowindra.

The Road to Serfdom Series
Qatar owns 250,000 hectacres of Australian farmland
  • Australia is selling off their farmland to the government of Qatar.
  • They are becoming a "Food Colony" for the Gulf Arab state.  Farmers will no longer own the land they work.  They will become hourly workers of foreign Masters. 

Hassad Australia, a subsidiary of Hassad Foods, a company owned by the Qatar government, has recently 40,000 hectares in western Victoria, The Land reported.

The acquisition brings Hassad Australia’s total up to 250,000 hectacres: farmland spread across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia reports Farland Grab.

Hassad Australia chief executive Tom McKeon said that since the company’s establishment in Australia its land purchases have been guided by risk minimising strategy. The lands are distributed across different climes and water regimes over a wide geographic area.

This distribution of risk is not surprising in light of growing food security concerns harboured by Middle East countries. In 2009 Hassad Foods established a 100% subsidiary in Australia, focusing on sheep and grains. In 2010 Hassad Foods announced it would invest up to US$700 million in projects around the world in order to ensure Qatari food security.

And beginning this year Qatari crown prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani issued a decree to organise the Qatar National Food Security Program (QNFSP), promoting domestic farming.

Securing water intensive crops and a reliable farm productivity formed the pillars of Qatar’s food security programme, though this years announcement may be an indication that Qatar is refocusing on domestic production.     (theage.com)       (farmlandgrab.org)

Government owned Hassad Foods of Qatar
Hassad has bought over 13 large farms in Australia, 100,000 hectacres of farmland in Sudan, set up a farm company in Turkey, plans to purchase rice farms in Vietnam, Pakistan and India and wants to buy shares in farm operations in Brazil and Argentina

The map shows recent purchases of prime Australian farmland by overseas interests.


No Property Rights  -  1.5 million people in Ethiopia have their land stolen and are re-settled by government force
  • The former Communist Government of Ethiopia sells the farmer's land out from under them.
  • Five are killed in an ambush as people fight back. 

1.5 million people re-settled by force.
Virtually all of the Ethiopian villagers interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that their move was an involuntary, forced process. While all villages reported being engaged in some form of “consultation,” it took the form of government officials “informing” people that they would be moved to a new location. Villagers said that in many of these meetings, they did not utter a word for fear of reprisal by the authorities. And their fears were justified: those who expressed concern or question the government’s motives were frequently threatened, beaten, and arrested by police or soldiers. A villager told Human Rights Watch:
"The government came and talked to the village elders and those that are influential. Then the government together with the soldiers and elders called us for a meeting where we were told we were to be moved. There was no consultation or opportunity for dialogue, they were just informing us. Those that spoke up are considered “inciters,” and five of them were arrested from the two villages. They were in prison for between 20 days and one month, and were released on the condition they do not speak against villagization. So either they are silent or they flee."   (Human Rights Watch)

VIDEO  -  Government steals farmers' land and gives it to a company from India to farm.  The now landless farmers do not have enough to eat.

By 2013 the Ethiopian government is planning to resettle 1.5 million people.  The land that they farmed for centuries will be taken from them and given to multi-national corporations.

The Alwero river in Ethiopia’s Gambela region provides both sustenance and identity for the indigenous Anuak people who have fished its waters and farmed its banks and surrounding lands for centuries. Some Anuak are pastoralists, but most are farmers who move to drier areas in the rainy season before returning to the river banks. This seasonal agricultural cycle helps nurture and maintain soil fertility. It also helps structure the culture around the collective repetition of traditional cultivation practices related to rainfall and rising rivers as each community looks after its own territory and the waters and farmlands within it.

Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi, owner of Saudi Star. His company plans to increase its landholdings in Ethiopia to 500,000 hectacres over the next 10 to 14 years

One new plantation in Gambela, owned by Saudi-based billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi, is irrigated with water diverted from the Alwero River. Thousands of people depend on Alwero's water for their survival and Al-Moudi's industrial irrigation plans could undermine their access to it. In April 2012, tensions over the project spilled over, when an armed group ambushed Al-Amoudi's Saudi Star Development Company operations, leaving five people dead.
The tensions in south western Ethiopia illustrate the central importance of access to water in the global land rush. Hidden behind the current scramble for land is a world-wide struggle for control over water. Those who have been buying up vast stretches of farmland in recent years, whether they are based in Addis Ababa, Dubai or London, understand that the access to water they gain, often included for free and without restriction, may well be worth more over the long-term, than the land deals themselves.

In recent years, Saudi Arabian companies have been acquiring millions of hectares of lands overseas to produce food to ship back home. Saudi Arabia does not lack land for food production. What’s missing in the Kingdom is water, and its companies are seeking it in countries like Ethiopia.

Indian companies like Bangalore-based Karuturi Global are doing the same. Aquifers across the sub-continent have been depleted by decades of unsustainable irrigation. The only way to feed India's growing population, the claim is made, is by sourcing food production overseas, where water is more available.
"The value is not in the land," says Neil Crowder of UK-based Chayton Capital which has been acquiring farmland in Zambia. "The real value is in water.”
And companies like Chayton Capital think that Africa is the best place to find that water. The message repeated at farmland investor conferences around the globe is that water is abundant in Africa. It is said that Africa’s water resources are vastly under utilised, and ready to be harnessed for export oriented agriculture projects.
The reality is that a third of Africans already live in water-scarce environments and climate change is likely to increase these numbers significantly. Massive land deals could rob millions of people of their access to water and risk the depletion of the continent's most precious fresh water sources.
All of the land deals in Africa involve large-scale, industrial agriculture operations that will consume massive amounts of water. Nearly all of them are located in major river basins with access to irrigation. They occupy fertile and fragile wetlands, or are located in more arid areas that can draw water from major rivers. In some cases the farms directly access ground water by pumping it up. These water resources are lifelines for local farmers, pastoralists and other rural communities. Many already lack sufficient access to water for their livelihoods. If there is anything to be learnt from the past, it is that such mega-irrigation schemes can not only put the livelihoods of millions of rural communities at risk, they can threaten the freshwater sources of entire regions.    (farmlandgrab.org)


The Road to Serfdom Series

The world is moving toward a modern form of Neo-Serfdom where everyone works for the all-powerful State or businesses controlled by the State. A world where individual property rights and economic freedom do not exist.

FREEDOM IS VANISHING: What happens when the major employers are owned by government backed investment groups, or your food comes from government owned farms, or your news is delivered by so-called "private" corporations but are in reality connected and interconnected to governments?

George Orwell had a name for it: Big Brother.

Please check out other stories in our Serfdom series.

THE FEDERALIST - "China buys Australia (For Cheap Too)"

THE FEDERALIST - "The Chinese conquest of Africa"

THE FEDERALIST - "China buys New Zealand - The Road to Serfdom, Part XVII"

THE FEDERALIST - "Arab Food Colonies in Black Africa."

THE FEDERALIST - "Chinese colonization of New Zealand blocked."

THE FEDERALIST - "Chinese "Slavery" in Africa - The Road to Serfdom, Part XIV."

THE FEDERALIST - "Argentina fights Saudi Land Grab."

THE FEDERALIST - "LAND GRAB: 160,000 people thrown off their land."

THE FEDERALIST - "China is buying up Argentina."

THE FEDERALIST - "Corporations use Global Warming to steal land."

THE FEDERALIST - "China wants to buy a huge chunk of Iceland"

THE FEDERALIST - "China to buy up Australian farmland"

THE FEDERALIST - "Brazil takes action to protect their farmlands from foreigners"

THE FEDERALIST - "Saudi Arabian "Food Colonies" in Argentina"

THE FEDERALIST - "China buys oil fields in Texas"

THE FEDERALIST - "America is committing suicide - The Road to Serfdom, Part IV"

THE FEDERALIST - "The Road to Serfdom, Part III"

THE FEDERALIST - "Benito Mussolini was right"

THE FEDERALIST - "The Road to Serfdom, Part II"


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