India No 3 In ‘Land Grabbing’, Of Other Nations?

As I was going through the Tamilnet to read latest News in Sri Lanka, I came cross information that India is ranked No.3 in grabbing th land of other nations, especially Africa with China leading the pack


Are our ideals for Freedom and Liberty a sham?

One does not wonder, if this report were to be true, why India supports a Genocidal Regime in Sri Lanka.

Is this about land grabbing with China in Sri Lanka that determines our Policy on Sri Lanka, under the cloak of ‘Security concerns?”

I am also reporting another article which makes UK No 1 in land grabbing.

Hindustan Times produced a report in 2009, accusing India as a Land Grabber.

I am unable find any denial from the Government of India.

Does any one have any information other than what I am posting?

Indian Land Grab.
Indian Land Grab.

While India is just warming up, China and rich Gulf states that face graver land and water shortages have been aggressively acquiring land across Africa and some parts of Asia, said a report prepared by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

There are others.

Last May, South Korea joined the race, buying 690,000 hectares — about five times the size of Delhi — in Sudan to grow wheat.

Land worth between $20 billion and $30 billion (Rs 100,000 crore and 150,000 crore) was bought in Africa and Asia over the past three years, said Joachim von Braun, director general of IFPRI, who authored the report.

How much land has been sold? Between 15 million and 20 million hectares, which is more than all of Germany’s farmland, said Braun.

“Many governments, either directly or through state-owned entities and public-private partnerships, are in negotiations for, or have already closed deals on, arable land leases, concessions, or purchases abroad,” said the IFPRI report titled ‘Land Grabbing by Foreign Investors in Developing Countries: Risks and Opportunities’.

Unlike earlier, when companies from the developed world bought land for profit, the new deals are driven by spiralling shortages in emerging economies such as India or China, where rising incomes are pushing up demand for food so fast that governments fear domestic production could eventually fall short.

Currently, India’s annual food grain production of 230 million tonnes is just about what the country needs. By 2020, the Planning Commission estimates the demand to grow to 240 million tonnes. There are also forecasts that put the figure as high as 250 million tons.

But economists say, unlike China, India need not look to farmland elsewhere to meet that demand, because it can fill the gap by increasing farm productivity, said Mahendra Dev, chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, a government organisation that recommends procurement prices for major farm produce.

Land Grabbing by Indian Companies in Ethiopia.

Indian investors eying Ethiopia should ensure that the local population is consulted before they are displaced for projects that involve the transfer of vast tracts of land, activists on Tuesday said, citing what they alleged were multiple instances of land grab in the east African country.

The Ethiopian government had committed “egregious violations of human rights” in leasing over 600,000 hectares of land to Indian companies, Anuradha Mittal of the US-based Oakland Institute said in New Delhi on Tuesday – charges that country’s government has consistently denied.

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Obang Metho, the exiled head of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) said the India must choose whether to support globally established human rights, as the world’s largest democracy. “I call this daylight robbery,” Metho said.(Hindustan Times Feb 5, 2013).

Indian land Grab in Africa.

 The rise of China and India in Africa has important implications for the continent’s development. While the two Asian giants provide a much needed alternative to the old and until now sole paradigm of dependence on the West, both countries are accused of being part of the global land grabbing club. Many African governments are complicit in this whole sale plunder of their land, which the FAO has compared to the ‘wild west’. India’s role in the land take-over underway in Africa raises serious questions about the direction of south-south relations.

Just before the 2010 World Cup of soccer in South Africa, the Indian food and beverages giant Parle Agro ran an ad campaign to promote its new lemon drink LMN. One spot showed a couple of Bushmen digging in the sand for water when their stick breaks. Suddenly, they see a tap and wrench it off.

Fortunately, the Advertising Standards Council of India forced the company to make changes because the spot was racist and made fun of water scarcity, an acute problem in Africa and India.

The Parle ad is an apt metaphor for growing fears in Africa about India’s seemingly insatiable demand for the continent’s land and water. Water scarcity at home and global fears of a looming water and food crisis are among the reasons India has joined the club of land predators.

India now ranks third in the amount of land grabbed from other countries. It is, says environmental journalist Darrel De Monte, “the irony of a former British colony turning into a neo-coloniser”.

This is a story of irony upon irony – a country with more poor people than the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, a champion of south-south solidarity, and an aid-giver to Africa, participating in the frenzied heist of arable land in Africa – a continent which has seen more than its fair share of conflict and weather triggered famines being taken over to feed the world while its own people starve.

And the cherry on the icing – India itself has been the target of land-grabbing, both domestic and foreign, a case of the land-grabbed grabbing land!

Joiing the race with China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South Korea and the European Union, Indian and Indian-owned companies are acquiring land in Africa at throwaway prices, indulging in enviornmental damange and exporting the food while locals continue to starve. The origin of this unhealthy practice can be traced back to the food crisis of 2008 when rich countries were forced to confront the reality of how fragile the global food scenario can be, especially for those without sufficient cultivable land. To ensure more direct control over food, these countries started acquiring land in poorer African countries and shipping the produce back home. A recent World Bank report found that 45 million hectares of large scale farmland deals had been announced between 2008 and 2009.

In 2010, a former Wall Street trader flew into war-torn Sudan to negotiate a deal with a thuggish general. He had his eye on a 1 million acre tract of fertile land fed by a tributary of the Nile in the southern section of the country, a region that later claimed its independence as South Sudan. The investor, who planned to profit by developing and exporting agricultural commodities, boasted about how the region’s instability was a principal variable in his financial model: “This is Africa,” he told reporter McKenzie Funk, who shadowed him for a riveting piece in Rolling Stone (PDF). “The whole place is like one big mafia. I’m like a mafia head.

Check this out as well.


One thought on “India No 3 In ‘Land Grabbing’, Of Other Nations?

  1. Iam surprised at this news which is new to me. There is totally a new dimension to this land grabbing blessed by the respective Govts.
    Soon all these guys would be kicked out of Africa if dictators like Idi Amin take over


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