There's a new website dedicated to tracking this trend; http://farmlandgrab.org/
Reuters | Wednesday June 3 2009
By Bate Felix
BRUSSELS, June 3 (Reuters) - The European Union is concerned by the trend of foreign investors and countries acquiring large tracts of farmland in developing countries to guarantee their own food security, a senior EU official said on Wednesday.[...]
“The poorest countries are selling commodities, they are exporting migrants and now they are selling their land from which they will not take any kind of benefit in terms of food or whatever,” Manservisi added.
Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, China and South Korea are looking to buy farmland beyond their borders after sharp food price hikes in 2008 highlighted a need for greater food security.
Gulf Daily News | Wednesday, June 03, 2009
After suffering losses on investments in firms such as Citigroup, Gulf sovereign wealth funds are pumping billions of dollars into local industries such as banks and governments are boosting spending to avert an economic slowdown.
Gulf countries, mainly reliant on food imports, have also increased efforts over the last year to buy land in developing nations from Pakistan to the Philippines and Ethiopia, to help cater for a growing population.
Addendum: Gwynne Dyer talks about the same issue here.
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