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Debt and Despair: How Small-Scale Farmers Feel the Impact of So-Called "Responsible Investment"


Debt and Despair: How Small-Scale Farmers Feel the Impact of So-Called "Responsible Investment"

Chris Walker

Kilombero Plantations Ltd (KPL) is no ordinary rice farm. Based in Kilombero Valley, Tanzania, the company owns a 5,800 hectare plantation and buys rice from local farmers. Not only is it now the largest rice producer in East Africa, it’s become a flagship for international backers hoping to prove that corporations can deliver economic development for communities.

"With farmers being displaced and livelihoods hanging in the balance, the evidence is demanding that governments take a whole new approach building better food systems in Africa."


This is precisely the case:

"Farmer groups in Tanzania and beyond fear that SAGCOT and the New Alliance could be a death blow for small-scale farmers struggling to keep control of their livelihoods, and have branded the projects “a new wave of colonialism.”

The following would represent wisdom and sustainability and comport with what Vandana Shiva advises. However, with treaties like TPP and TIPP looming, it’s not what’s in the public interest that’s on the radar; it’s what suits the corporations. Their deep pockets are used to pay off local political authorities in order that these entities gain “free” access to others’ fertile lands & livelihoods:

"Across the continent, small-scale farmers are using their own solutions to sustainably increase yields and feed their communities, free from corporate control. With support from governments, these farmers could transform their food systems for the better. "


Johnny Cash’s Sixteen Tons song says it all.

Corporations and the politicians they own will never run out of new spins on slavery. They figured out long ago that owning slaves was not as profitable as the sharecropper or debt servitude models.


Written by Merle Travis, recorded by hundreds.


“Western technological enterprise which includes weapons manufacture, nuclear and otherwise (which we’re especially good at), has nearly destroyed this planet.”

And the agro-chemical giants, the genetically engineered pesticide seed companies that now bestride the Earth, Monsanto and their evil brethren, got their launch toward transnational dominance as profiteering war-time chemical corporations… made a “brilliant strategic business move” from industrial war chemistry into industrial ag chemistry… carrying out a profiteering war against nature…