By Juliette Leroux – The Greens – European Free Alliance, 07 June 2016
On the face of it, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition looks like an extremely worthy project: encouraging private investment in African farming to help improve food production and reduce hunger and poverty. But the noble words behind the project mask the violent and dangerous reality, as one New Alliance project in Tanzania illustrates. In effect, through their support for the G7-led project, the EU and its member states are involved in land deals by private companies that lead to human rights violations – a practice that must end, according to a new report from the European Parliament.
When the Swedish-owned firm EcoEnergy received a certificate of occupancy for about 8,000 hectares of farmland from the Tanzanian government to develop a sugar plantation and processing facility, it claimed that the investment would bring many benefits to local communities. In reality, it led to land grabbing.
The private company received financial support from the New Alliance, a multi-billion dollar public-private partnership operating in 10 African countries, which is co-funded by the EU and bilateral donors.
In the first phases of the project in Tanzania, approximately 1,300 people – mainly farmers – were threatened with the loss of some or all of their land, or their homes. They were given no alternative to resettlement, simply offered compensation in the form of money or new land (most of which was poor quality and unsuitable for farming. This is a clear violation of their rights.
By Dr Vandana Shiva – The Asian Age, 16 June 2016
Euractiv, 6 June 2016