China is unique in the world in how it has decided to control its future. That’s a view from a non-agricultural specialist looking at Chinese activity in land investment to take over huge amounts of other countries’ land and then employ their own Chinese people while displacing local farmers and workers.
“They are making huge investment in land and leases in central Africa,” said Jerry Davis with the New Orleans Employee Retirement Fund.
The closest that Davis comes to farming is watching the income and investment statements of the hedge funds into which the retirement fund puts its money to earn monthly returns for benefit payments to retirees.
Davis said he sees reports of the Chinese exporting its own laborers to farm the land they buy or long-term lease, which deprives labor jobs to the citizens of those African nations. The fruits of the land also leave the country bound for China without concern for feeding the African locals.
The only positive is monetary payments to the government or banks that have “claimed” ownership of the land. Land ownership rights of the poor farming class usually have not been validated and thus the ownership goes to the privileged public and private officials.
These comments about China were basically a sidebar to Davis’ presentation at “Agronomics—Vision 2012,” a U.S. agriculture investment conference and trade show, which was also the annual meeting of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.