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Old 06-28-2009, 08:27 PM
 
4,249 posts, read 8,254,440 times
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"Those who brought us the crisis have found a new profit-making toy. It’s land-grabbing, 21st-century style. Around the world, private investors and multinational mining, automotive, agrochemical and seed corporations are scouting out and taking over vast tracts of farmland, many in African countries that are still struggling to feed themselves.

Arable land has become the newest commodity for the speculators that author Naomi Klein so aptly describes as "disaster capitalists" because they profit from disasters, often ones they help create.

These financial wheeler-dealers created the economic meltdown by dealing bad debts at the expense of ordinary people — productive and hard-working citizens who pay their taxes every year, and don’t know much about tax havens, numbered bank accounts or any of the places really rich people stash their wealth. The land these "investors" are now grabbing for offshore farms is their new safe, and profitable, haven.

The investment gurus point out to their institutional investors that the prices of farmland are sure to rise in coming years in the face of a global food crisis and the rush to turn fertile food-crop land into plantations for agrofuels to turn still more profits. Theirs is a self-fulfilling prophecy because by speculating on land, they are already driving up the prices.

Reza Vishaki, head of alternatives at the fund manager Insight Investment, says, "The single best recession hedge of the next 10 or 15 years is farmland." He says demand is going up strongly on a global basis.

In the west of Canada, funds such as Agcapita Farmland Investment Partnership are buying Prairie farmland. Agcapita’s website says institutional investors "have long recognized farmland as a dynamic asset class with many attractive investment characteristics. Farmland has attracted billions in private investments from institutional investors globally." Agcapita boasts that it has Canada’s only RRSP and tax-free savings account eligible farmland investment funds.

Is this where ordinary Canadians want their precious savings invested, in corporate-owned agribusinesses that turn their land into factory farms, at the mercy of super-wealthy and invisible investors? Agcapita says it buys Canadian farmland and then leases it "to a portfolio of qualified operators for cash rents and on a selective basis on a profit/crop sharing basis."

Crop-sharing? Isn’t crop-sharing something that we put a welcome end to in the past few centuries? In medieval Europe, kings and church leaders owned all the land. The majority, the poor peasants and serfs, worked the land for the rich and powerful. They were share-croppers, usually deeply indebted, and lived in veritable bondage. This was distinctly feudal and anti-democratic. This is the stuff of the Dark Ages."

This land is our land? - Nova Scotia News - TheChronicleHerald.ca (http://thechronicleherald.ca/Letters/1129587.html - broken link)
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:46 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
733 posts, read 4,245,286 times
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Old news. Insurance companies held vast tracts of farmland from the 1930s - mortgage foreclosures during the Dust Bowl. Land trusts, corporations, and huge operators have been accumulating acres for years. Some states - like South Dakota - prohibit non-family corporate ownership of farmlands.

As for sharecropping. It's been around for years. We've done 60/40 crop/expense shares for ever and a few net 1/3rds as well.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:56 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,802 times
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Yes very old news.

We still crop-share and would be sunk without that sort of thing. Like anything it has a bad name but in practice works well. There is no way we could afford to farm all our own, taxable land otherwise.

Maine too has a anti-corporation limit to farmland, but I thought that was a federal regulation and not a state by state thing. I may be wrong because I am not well versed in that.

I do know that after that great former farmer president of ours (Carter) got out of office and anti-corporate farm legislation began, a lot of farms that depended upon corporate investment went under contributing to the lean times in the 1980's.

The scary thing is, in some respects Canada Agriculture is ahead of us on regulation, and in some instances behind us. There are many that want to adopt the Canadian system of quotas but after hearing a few Canadian Agricultural concerns like this, I am not sure complete subsidization of something so important as food production should be effectively socialized.

With a current president that has taken over the banking industry, taken over GM hereby known as Government Motors, and is looking to acquire the Heath Insurance Industry...all in 6 months...I see agriculture as being taken over next. Since I have never seen a government program that was not screwed up, I truly fear for my daughter's future. I don't think I am the only one that is fearful.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:50 PM
 
Location: NE Nebraska
84 posts, read 363,209 times
Reputation: 99
Most of the bans of corporate ownership of farmland has been struck down by federal courts. Nebraska's I-300 which prohibited corporate ownership of land and corporate farming was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It was said I-300 was unconstitutional because it discriminated against the disabled because it the law had said a member of the ownership family must actively farm the land. A guy in a wheel chair said he couldn't work a farm so he couldn't own the land.

In Nebraska we are all waiting for the price of farmland to fall. The prices went through the roof a couple years ago when corn was over $7 a bushel. Now with the price of corn dropping many think land prices will collapse. Some predict corn might fall to $2 a bushel this year with a record number of acres planted.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:14 AM
 
Location: UK
296 posts, read 735,761 times
Reputation: 316
"With a current president that has taken over the banking industry, taken over GM hereby known as Government Motors, and is looking to acquire the Heath Insurance Industry...all in 6 months...I see agriculture as being taken over next. Since I have never seen a government program that was not screwed up, I truly fear for my daughter's future. I don't think I am the only one that is fearful."

Yes, you should be fearful for not just your daughter but for all Americans. God help us if Obama takes over the "Health Insurance Industry" - Americans may end up like those not so bright Europeans with national health care systems which (1) provide "free at use" health care for all citizens and (2) eliminate the need of losing one's life savings and going bankrupt to pay for medical care. And for the record, I for one do not want to see the health insurance executives lose their million dollar bonuses. Yeah, Obama is one big A$$ mistake for America.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:46 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,861 times
Reputation: 10
Correct ..


Kept in the dark and exploited,individuals need to assert thrie right to information instead of believing everything the media feeds them
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