From time to time I feel like watching more documentary movies, than artistic ones. This time, I discovered one about Africa and the lands used for agriculture there.
In 2008, the world’s food system began to fall apart. Considering this a threat, rich countries started buying land from 3rd world countries to develop modern agriculture there. Africa is on top of the list for American investors for example. In Mali, 75% of the people are famers, each having a small piece of land to work it and make a living.
Rich investors come to Mali to buy cheap land and cultivate sugar beet. They don’t care that people who have lived there for all their lives remain with absolutely nothing. The government supports the initiative and promotes it, but the locals do not welcome these efforts at all.
There is one scene in the documentary, with a rich investor driving around the land and sees that there are Shea trees on his just bought land. The local translator tells him that women make Shea butter and sell it to make a living. The investor decides to cut the treas from his land and plant new ones somewhere else. But it will take 6 years for a Shea tree to grow and make butter out of its fruits and the women would not have anything to make a living of.
Once a local just says : ‘They say they offer us something that would make us happy, but it will actually just make them happy, not us.’