The surge in commodity prices in 2007-2008 was one of the main causes of what has sometimes been described as the “global land rush” – a wave of large-scale land acquisitions in developing countries by foreign investors. Non-governmental organisations and the media were quick to denounce these deals as “land grabbing”, which were blamed for ignoring the rights and interests of the people who make their living from a land that is legitimately theirs.
High food prices made the returns on investing in developing country farmland become attractive for agribusiness companies and financial investors seeking to diversify away from poorly performing equity and bond markets. They also spurred countries heavily dependent on food imports to invest in countries with under-utilised land to produce food for consumption back home. The peak oil prices and biofuel policies that had helped trigger the food price spike also led to an investment surge in feedstock crops for biofuel.
Almost a decade after the 2007-2008 price spike, today’s situation looks very different. Global agricultural production has risen strongly in recent years, especially for cereals, partly as a result of the investment boom. This output rise, combined with lower demand growth, has pushed real prices much below their peak levels of 2008.
The OECD and FAO project that real agricultural commodity prices will resume their long-term declining trend in the medium term, as production growth, driven by on-trend productivity growth and lower input prices, slightly outpaces slowing demand increases. At the same time, falling oil prices and the reform of biofuel policies in major industrial countries have greatly reduced the incentives for investing in feedstock crops … //
… Even if food prices may be on a long-term declining trend, it is unlikely that “land grabbing” will disappear. “Land grabbing” is bad for local people, agricultural development and even the investor.
It should be combated decisively, in particular by the governments of the countries where it occurs, as it often reflects weak local governance. But it should not hide the truth that higher agricultural investment in developing countries is good for them and the whole world. Acquiring land is one way of investing in agriculture, but there are many other models. Investments that involve local farmers without transferring land rights are more likely to succeed … //
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Facebook blocks RT from posting until after Trump inauguration, on RT, Jan 19, 2017: RT has been blocked from posting content to its Facebook page. The ban, according to the Facebook bot, will last until Saturday 10:25pm / Moscow time (2:25pm EST) and will extend across US president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. A misplaced live streaming rights strike during RT’s broadcast of President Obama’s final press conference seems to have triggered the ban …;
The PM has thrown Britain’s jigsaw pieces in the air, on Left Foote Forward, by Ed Jacobs, Jan 18, 2017: May’s Brexit speech echoes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland;
Eight people own as much as half the world, on Systemic Disorder, by blog owner, Jan 18, 2017: just when it seemed we might be running out of superlatives to demonstrate the monstrous inequality of today’s capitalism, Oxfam has provided the most dramatic example yet: Eight individuals, all men, possess as much wealth as the poorest 50 percent of humanity. Eight people have as much as 3.7 billion people …;
President Obama Commutes Chelsea’s Sentence, on Chelsea Manning Support Network, Jan 17, 2017: President Obama Commutes Chelsea’s Sentence, on Chelsea Manning Support Network, Jan 17, 2017: … Chelsea’s attorney Nancy Hollander, who spoke with President Obama’s counsel earlier today, confirms that “Chelsea will walk out of Fort Leavenworth a free woman in four months, on May 17th”;
(my comment: I guess that the four remaining months have to be used to remake Chelsea’s physical and moral health … as they definitively can not let her walk out of prison in a bad shape – Heidi);
Economic issues are not separate from “identity” issues, on Systemic Disorder, by blog owner, Jan 5, 2017;
Trump’s election saved world from great war – Emir Kusturica, Serbian film producer, on RT, Dec 21, 2016: Donald Trump’s win in the US election allowed the world to avoid a massive conflict, which would have erupted if Hillary Clinton had become president, renowned Serbian movie director Emir Kusturica said …;
National debt of the United States:
- on The Daily Caller: Mulvaney Will Be A Check On Federal Regulations, Overspending, by Ron Prestage, Jan 18, 2017: America’s business owners, farmers and, ultimately, consumers are suffering under the weight of the twin yokes of national debt and federal rules. Government overspending and overregulation are crushing the U.S. economy;
- on THE HILL: How the national debt could lead to another economic collapse, by JUSTIN HASKINS, Jan 14, 2017;
- on USA TODAY: National debt is our biggest security threat – Column, by Ivan Eland, Jan 10, 2017;
- on en.wikipedia: is the amount owed by the federal government of the United States. The measure of the public debt is the value of the outstanding Treasury securities at a point of time that have been issued by the Treasury and other federal government agencies. The terms national deficit and national surplus usually refer to the federal government budget balance from year to year, not the cumulative total. A deficit year increases the debt because more money is spent than is received; a surplus year decreases the debt because more money is received than spent …; /See also; /External Links;
- on RT’s search-results;
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… and this:
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