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More African farm land-grabs by the Chinese could lead to riots, profits

Posted By Dick Sterling
March 7, 2012

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Recent news: Ethiopia has leased out 8.8 million acres of land for agricultural use. An area about the size of Holland. And tens-of-thousands of locals claim they're getting cheated.

China, India, much of the Middle East, and dozens of international investment syndicates are gobbling up African farmland in expectation of soaring food prices.

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Meanwhile, local villagers claim they're having the land sold-out from under them.

It's part of a phenomenon I've been talking about since 2008. Agriculture is one of the big investment ideas I've been urging readers to position themselves for, before sky-high food prices kick-in.

I've been urging readers to position themselves in farmland now, if they are able to, for several years. Recent news headlines said Midwest corn-belt farmland prices had risen 22% in the past year, the biggest gain in a generation. There is still upside, in my opinion.

But the big story is happening globally. The Chinese having been pouring their forex reserves into anything "arable" --- locking-up global supplies of corn, soy, and other staples. They are focusing on Africa and South America.

Sudan, Mali, Zambia, Congo, Uganda, etc. Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina. They have all entered into deals with the Chinese, or the Indians, or the Saudi's, or private interests. Millions of acres of farmland across the globe are now under lease to foreign interests, sometimes with military guarantees. The locals are going to wind up on the short end of the deal, and violence is almost guaranteed.

All this is happening at a time when the global food supply is increasingly precarious. Superweeds, superbugs, UG99 and transgenic-everything is threatening the stability of production. Oil, a crucial factor in commodity prices, is high and probably going higher. I have few, if any, doubts that food prices are heading upward. What's more disturbing is the potential for famine.

This means chaos. But it also can mean profit --- if you position yourself now. There's still time. Learn specifics in Mastering the Bubble.

Posted by: Dick Sterling, Editor   contact here


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