Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Farming in Sudan

A report on the BBC this morning about land in Sudan that is owned/leased by foreigners, in this case Arabs from the Middle East, raised some interesting issues. In 2004, the UN FAO recommended that global agribusinesses could farm in countries where land was underutilised as a way to feed the hungry in the nations of the businesses....think of this as the farm version of mining or any other resource exploitation/exploration. The foods grown do not remain in the countries where they are grown; workers are not usually from the the "host" country. This is not like coffee or banana plantations. The questions raised include: what are the food benefits to the host country, especially if they already have hunger and employment problems; is this ethical farming; are the farming practices environmentally beneficial to the host nation.

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