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From the beginning of capitalism the drive for profits has been the major force in dispossession peasant and small-scale farmers from the land and water.

While we are all consumed by our daily lives the armies of our greatest enemy Greed in the form of money never sleeps.

Now there are many ways to acquire land as Mr Putin see it and you might think that he is the greatest current threat with nuclear power.

You would be wrong in my opinion.

In more stressful times, expect these land deals to lead to unrest and lay the groundwork for wars and national boundary or ownership changes. Any nation faced with civil disobedience or unrest, for whatever reason, might be subject to regime changes which might quickly change foreign land ownership policy. Moreover, political instability elsewhere in the region is pushing oil prices up, thereby increasing and guaranteeing the main source of income of the oil-rich Persian Gulf states.

The greatest threat is the Privatization of our world resources for the sake of profit which is in the not so distant future is going to come back to haunt us all.

It is an existential struggle for the future of humanity.

Unless the resources of the earth can be utilized in an equitable and sustainable way, then civilization itself is under threat.

The main threat are called Sovereign Wealth Funds that are currently plundering the world. There are about 52 sovereign investors who collectively manage $5.7 trillion in assets

( I have addressed the problem in past posted if your are interested.)

Here I want to highlight two aspects of their current activities that we should all be made aware of.

The first is Land and water.

Land grabbing is directly intertwined with the growing scarcity of fresh water resources around the world.

More than 463 projects covering 116 million acres, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa were acquired in eight months during 2008-9.

Perhaps the most famous example of such privatization of water was the infamous purchase of Bolivia’s water supply by Bechtel and the Abengoa Corporation of Spain in the late 1990s

If one needed more evidence that financial and political elites were consolidating their ownership of global water resources, one needs look no further than the Guarani Aquifer in Paraguay.

One of the world’s largest fresh water aquifers, Guarani is estimated as being larger than the US states of Texas and California combined. Researchers have calculated that Guarani could provide fresh water for the world’s population for at least 200 years. It is precisely atop this aquifer that George Bush and the Bush family have purchased more than 100,000 acres, though many believe the purchase to in fact be much larger.

If ownership of water and the farmland of a nation doesn’t define a nation tell me what does.

It is difficult to obtain accurate figures for the amount of land in the global South that is under the control of foreign and local private capital as well as foreign sovereign wealth funds.

Sovereign wealth funds–charged with preserving the accumulated fortunes of their home nations–are well known for their opaque, tightly guarded investment decisions.

Sovereign wealth funds hold about $5 trillion in assets globally, and many, are food challenged, such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, South Korea, and China.

With Climate change the rush for agricultural and water gold is in fully flight. Water “the petroleum for the next century” Future agricultural production will be stressed by climate change and competition for remaining oil and water supplies while population numbers grow will become more intensive.  

A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The new “water barons”  — are buying up water all over the world at unprecedented pace. Not only are the mega-banks investing heavily in water, the multimillionaire tycoons are also buying water. 

Unfortunately, the global water and infrastructure-privatization fever is unstoppable:

Here are a few facts that might make you think twice.

There is currently a consolidation of land and resources in ever fewer hands, while the mass of workers and peasants are made dependent on corporations and governments.

Hedge funds, big banks, sovereign wealth funds, are gobbling up the most fertile land around the world, leading many to wonder what the future of food production and land distribution will look like.

By 2020 more that 50 million people will be pushed into poverty because of high food prices, and this speculation will be if not already one of the main causes.

Today’s emerging new farm owners are private equity fund managers, specialized farmland fund operators, hedge funds, pension funds,big banks and Sovereignty Wealth Funds.”

In Australia more than 800,000ha of prime and fertile land, from Moree in the north to Deniliquin in the south, is foreign owned, with Korea’s Ho Myoung Farm company the largest stakeholder with 500,000ha.  Hassad Australian, a company wholly owned by the Arab state of Qatar, has acquired 730,000ha of farm land in Australia, including 25,245ha in NSW.

There has been more than $1.5 billion in direct investment in Australian agricultural land over the last three years by GLOBAL fund managers and some of the world’s largest pension funds and of course Sovereign Wealth Funds.

The sovereign state of Qatari are on track to acquire a larger area more than the entire Arab state with plans to spend over $350 million on acquisitions. The Qatari government has leased large amounts of land in Kenya. They also have or are working on deals in Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Sudan, and the Ukraine.

They include: Two Swedish pension funds, Första AP-fonden and the Second Swedish National Pension Fund/AP2; the Dutch pension fund Algemene Pensioen Groep; Danish pension fund Danske; Swiss fund Adveq Real Assets Harvested Resources; Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund; and several from Canada including the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, BNY Mellon, the Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System, and Quebec’s CDPQ fund, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

As of May 2012, it was estimated that between 32 and 82 million hectares (between approximately 80 and 200 million acres) of global farmland had been brought under foreign control, with the amount constantly increasing.Table A6: Top foreign investors in primary production land in regional NSW

Top Ten Land Grab Targets and Investor Countries

Target Countries
(millions of hectares)

Investor Countries
(millions of hectares)

South Sudan


United States


Papua New Guinea






Arab Emirates
















Saudi Arabia




South Sudan


Sierra Leone


China, Hong Kong






It is estimated that the amount of global farmland that has been acquired by foreign entities equals about 198 million acres.

In July 2013 the Colombian ambassador to the United States resigned over his participation in a legally questionable effort to help the U.S. corporation Cargill use shell companies to amass 130,000 acres of land.

Sovereign funds loaded with new capital will continue to pour into real estate and are actively seeking out foreign farmland to purchase.

In this age of global uncertainty in the area of food-producing and wealth preservation, productive farmland around the world has been placed into the spotlight by “guru investors,” wealth management funds, growing mega agri-industries, wealthy sovereign wealth funds.

The Saudi Kingdom is behind a seven-year project of acquiring 1.7 million irrigated rice acres in Senegal and Mali, enough to produce 7 million tonnes of rice. Proposals would allow Saudi business groups to take control of 70% of the rice-growing area of Senegal.

Saudi Arabia has farming interests in Egypt, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Syria, Turkey and the Ukraine.

South Koreans want to produce rice, corn, sugar, fish, and livestock in the Philippines.

Japan is believed to hold three times the amount of its own farmable land outside of its borders.

Argentina and Brazil have acquired land in Uruguay.

South Korea and Russia agreed to create a $500 million joint fund with their sovereign wealth funds, aimed at increasing cross-border investments in various companies and projects.

Egypt leases land in Uganda to produce rice, wheat and beef.

Nigeria is appealing to the Gulf nations to utilize its land. It has 175 million acres and is only farming half of that. It desires investment in that land, it desires employment opportunities, and it claims that it could provide 100% of the Gulf’s food needs.

Chinese investment in Kazakhstan reached $5 billion by the end of last year, slightly less than 4 percent of the country’s total foreign direct investment. They are buying land in Brazil for soybean cultivation, as part of a $3.4 billion plan to build oilseed and rice production bases overseas including bases for rapeseed in Canada and Australia, palm oil in Malaysia and rice in Cambodia. China is by far the largest investor, buying or leasing twice as much as anyone else.

In January 2012, China Investment Corporation has bought 8.68% stakes in Thames Water, the largest water utility in England, which serves parts of the Greater London area, Thames Valley, and Surrey, among other areas.

Foreign firms have invested in dairies, meat processing, crops and others areas in Serbia and other non-European Union members of the Balkans.

67% of Mideast SWFs plan to allocate more funds to Latin America, while half will do the same to Africa and 60% to India.

In November 2012, One of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), also purchased 9.9% stake in Thames Water.

Food insecure nations such as the Gulf States, China, Japan, South Korea and Western Europe are all interested in increasing their farmland holdings.

Countries need to take control of their agriculture away from international and market forces and support the development of national food sovereignty based on family size farms.

And if all of that is not enough sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East expect to receive more funding this year, providing them with extra financial firepower to raise their investments into emerging markets and asset classes such as private equity and real estate. Slightly Ironically, with instability in the region, the oil prices go up and that gives the governments sometimes a little bit more room to maneuver,” 54% of Middle East SWFs expect an increase in new funding in 2014, higher than the 46% average for all funds.

As much as US$70 billion is up for grabs for global hedge funds looking to raise money in Asia over the next few years.

So the next time you walk into any Sainsbury’s across the UK, remember that Qatar is a major investor.

It owns 20 per cent of the London Stock Exchange and, at the other end of the scale, it owns  20 per cent of Camden market, the biggest grunge emporium in the country. Qatari LNG accounted for 85 per cent of Britain’s liquefied natural gas imports, providing power to homes across the land.


The tiny Gulf state has snapped up a range of famous British assets, which include:

1. Harrods, the upmarket department store former owned by Mohamed al-Fayed.

2. The Shard, soon-to-be Europe’s tallest building.

3. No 1 Hyde Park, the world’s most expensive block of flats.

4. The London Stock Exchange, which they own a 20 per cent stake.

5. Camden Market, which they own a 20 per cent stake.

6. The Olympic Village, once the games are over.

7. Sainsbury’s and Barclays banks – major investors.

8. Liquefield Natural Gas, Britain’s biggest supplier.

It’s no wonder Scotland wants Independence before the Dragon comes.


The greater their investment, the greater our dependency. The greater the dependency, the greater the risks.