In the Great Age of Exploration, European countries took
possession of foreign lands by force.
Today rich countries and multi-national corporations are taking
possession of foreign lands in a new way – they buy it. It’s called “The Great Land Grab”. China,
Saudi Arabia, and South Korea
lead the world in buying lands in other countries. They do this because they
don’t have enough land and water to feed their own people. Multi-national corporations are also buying
land in developing countries for another reason: to make money.
is experiencing their worst drought in 60 years. Thousands of people migrate in search of water
and food yet a Saudi corporation bought huge tracts of land there to grow and
export food for themselves. The water poor, cash rich Saudis ship 50 tons of
food a day thousands of miles back to their desert homeland while the Ethiopian
poor go hungry and thirsty. Below is a
link to one report:
Multi-national corporations are leading the way in not only
the land grab but the “water grab” as well.
One major soft drink corporation has 52 water intensive bottling plants
in drought stricken India. Surrounding farmers’ wells have dried up and
there are reports of women walking three miles for a drink of water as they
watch truck loads of soft drinks for the rich drive away. Below is a link to one of those stories:
Last month the United Nations declared that the human population
of the world had reached seven billion.
The declaration occurred on Halloween.
How appropriate. Population is
expected to be eight billion in just a couple more decades and the race for
land to grow food will continue to accelerate as well as the race to find the
water to irrigate it. Food insecurity is
driving the “Great Land Grab”.
Here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and other parts of
the temperate east, we have the land and the soil to grow our food without
irrigation. We also have adequate water supplies
and state of the art water treatment facilities to provide drinkable tap
water. These are priceless natural
resources worthy of protection and in need of greater safeguards. Exceeding the carrying capacity of the land,
soil and water resources, as we have witnessed throughout history forces people
to take desperate measures and not safeguarding these resources has led to devastating
exploitation. As our population surges
to eight billion in the next few decades we will need local, state, national
and international cooperation to advance food security principals throughout