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Land Grabbing or Land to Investors?

Alfredo Bini | Ethiopia

Ethiopia, Oromia region, Debre Sina area. The average size of plots cultivated by local farmers does not exceed 0,6 hectares, hardly enough to sustain a typical large Ethiopian family. Ethiopia is the second most densely populated country in Africa.

This project investigates the entire process of land grab triangulation in order to bring awareness to questionable land use practices. Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were chosen as an example.

Low-cost land for agricultural production has always been in high demand. To ensure food security, governments from countries that are most vulnerable to fluctuations in food prices have been providing domestic companies with capital. These companies then invest in land overseas and grow food and other crops for export.

Governments, the EU, the World Bank and the IMF all provide funding for different reasons, and consequently there is little financial risk to the companies. The land is publicly owned, and the government actors responsible for it and the corporate entities who seek to lease it make their decisions far from the land itself, and far from those with lives rooted in the land.

In Ethiopia, half the population is malnourished and six million people rely on food aid, while foreign investors lease land and cultivate agricultural products for export.

Food production will have to increase by 70-100% to meet the needs of 9.3 billion people by 2050.

When land is grabbed, so is water.

Societies use 85% of fresh water resources to produce food. Water is “virtually” transferred when food is exported. 25 countries have been responsible for 75% of the increase in “virtual” water trade from 1986-2008. Germany, the Netherlands, the U.S. and China, account for 25% of the global water trade.

Worldwide, investors have appropriated rainwater that would have been sufficient to grow food for 300-390 million people, half of the world's malnourished population.

Alfredo Bini is a freelance photojournalist. His work, which is published by the major international media, is often used as debating material during conferences, television programs, and festivals. It is exhibited and projected in museums, galleries, and universities. He works on editorial, corporate, and advertising assignments.
His work is represented by the French agency Cosmos.


info [ at ] alfredobini.com
IT:+39 335 373167
US:+1 (310) 819-6811

COSMOS - Photo Annie Boulat
+33 (0) 147054429
56 bld Latour Maubourg 75007 Paris

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