Written June 25, 2009
Over the past five years at least 15 million hectares of new farmland in Africa and Latin America have been acquired by countries such as China, India, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. This is equivalent to 25% of all the farmland in Europe. Rich countries that are short on land or water are looking to secure food producing lands elsewhere to ensure food security for their population. While some may see this land grab as a type of neocolonialism, I wonder if nations like China have any other choice. China still has over 700 million rural citizens. What will happen when these people become urbanized and change their diets to include more meats and processed foods? Meanwhile, the world’s population is at 6.7 billion will pass through 7 billion by 2012.
I’m no Farmer, but I have to believe that all this farmland is going to require a massive amount of fertilizer, seeds and equipment. I’m not selling my shares in Potash anytime soon.