Many industrialised countries (especially India and China) have been accused of buying up great lumps of Africa for food security. This article is one of the best condensed summaries I have seen. http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/64403 (Interesting accusation that Goldman Sachs now owns the entire Chinese pork industry! Cue for jokes about capitalist pigs?) This looks like the Roman Empire 'Latifundia' system written on a global scale. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latifundium GRABBING THE WORLD'S 'UNUSED LAND' In the past three years, foreign governments and investment companies have been buying or leasing vast tracts of farmland in Africa and elsewhere for producing biofuels or food for their own use. This 'land rush' was triggered by the demand for biofuels, and accelerated  with the financial and food crisis of 2007/8 (see  Financing World Hunger, SiS 46). Government policies promoting biofuels are based on the mistaken belief that fuels made from plants are 'carbon neutral', in that burning them would simply release the carbon dioxide fixed by photosynthesis and would not increase greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The European Union is aiming for 10 per cent of its transport to run on biofuels by 2020  (Europe Unveils 2020 Plan for Reducing C Emissions, SiS 37). George W. Bush, for his part, proposed to cure the US' âaddiction to oilâ by increasing the federal budget 22 per cent for research into clean fuel technologies including biofuels as substitutes for oil to power the country's cars  (Biofuels for Oil Addicts, SiS 30). The hope is to replace more than 70 per cent of oil imports from âunstable parts of the worldâ â the Middle East â by 2025. Meanwhile, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) helpfully identified immense areas of 'spare land' in developing countries that could be used for planting 'bio-energy' crops to be turned into biofuels. The World Bank's recent report on the 2008 commodities price hike includes a diagram entitled  âThe stock of unused but potentially arable land is enormousâ, depicting more than 700 million hectares of 'unused' land in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than 800 million hectares in Latin America and the Caribbean. CORPORATE FARMING FOR THE RICH International agribusinesses, investment banks, hedge funds, commodity traders, sovereign wealth funds, UK pension funds, foundations and 'individuals have been snapping up some of the world's cheapest land, in Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Congo, Zambia, Uganda, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana and elsewhere. Ethiopia alone has approved 815 foreign-financed agricultural projects since 2007. Any land investors can't buy is leased for about $1 per year per hectare. In many cases, the contracts have led to evictions, civil unrest and complaints of âland grabbingâ, John Vidal reports in UK's Guardian . Edited for length due to public demand! BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS * Dr Mae-Wan Ho is a geneticist and the director of The Institute of Science in Society. * This article first appeared in ISIS Report (28/04/10), which is published by the Institute of Science in Society.