Going Local to Stop Displacement
Around the world, federal governments and corporations have entered a new “global gold rush” – for agricultural land. They buy up property to use in the coming food crisis and cross national borders for the cheapest and most underused plots.
But while purchasing these huge chunks of land, they often ignore the small farmers and tenants who currently work the fields, sometimes evicting them through violence. Last year in Uganda, 20,000 people were displaced without compensation or replacement land – made homeless by a British company buying up plots for carbon credits.
This form of mass displacement stems in large part from anxiety over food control in the coming decades and a desire to make the most money off of it as possible. But environmentalists have some thinking to do, too: land grabbing has sped up due to an obsession with carbon credits and a growing industry for biofuels that compete against food for land.
Now is the time to invest our grocery budgets in sustainable, long-term agriculture that honors farmers and produces the healthiest food possible closest to home. And now is the time to speak out against agricultural industry giants responsible for buying up land without offering any acceptable alternatives to the people they displace.
After all, if a corporation or government behaves cruelly to human citizens, we should never presume they will be caring to the land or to the food we eat that comes from it.