Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Best line from Denver today

During the panel on lessons from agricultural development in Africa and the Caribbean (which was really about the "land grab" from Europe, China, India, and the Middle East) the moderator pointed out that a lot of the Big Deal is European nations coming in and leasing African land for very little. Out of the $1.1 billion this one government was spending in South Africa, the farmers were getting $8/ha. A pittance not reflecting local land values.

Understandably, there have been comparisons to colonial days, with the mild improvement that Europe is paying $8 now instead of 0 for the use of the land.

So up pops the only Asian in the room and offers, "Well, you could deal with the Chinese government if you'd rather...." and the room erupts in laughter.

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