Is there really any social justice or ethics that we continue to grow our own population and consumption levels if it means we parasitically must acquire valuable arable land from a country already being preyed upon by developed nations?
Prof Robin Batterham was the Chief Scientist of Australia from 1999 to 2005 and is President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).
Behind ATSE is the property developer Peter Scanlon of the Scanlon Foundation. At his address to the ATSE in 2007, he is quoted as saying - The Scanlon Foundation is committed to the belief that Australia needs to continue to grow and that this growth will require a substantial and increasing role for migration...
Mr Scanlon, whose family wealth is estimated to be more than $600 million, set up a foundation in 2009 with the aim to create a larger and socially cohesive Australia. Mr Scanlon has extensive property development interests, which clearly benefit from immigration-fuelled high population growth.
Mr Scanlon's Brencorp Properties is a partner in the $1 billion Somerfield housing estate at Keysborough, said Australia's greatest asset was its “diversity”- a euphemism for high immigration.
Large investments in Africa
A new and surprising investment vehicle has Africa as one of the main destinations for inflows of capital, for one of the most prized and sensitive assets, the acquisition of arable land. The land grab has only just begun.
There has been large investments in Africa by firms linked to governments such as Saudi Arabia that has US$800m of agricultural investments in Ethiopia for the growing of major crops such as rice and wheat. China has 1.3 billion mouths to feed due to 7% of the arable land is being lost in China to desertification and pollution as a by-product of rampant economic and population growth, and has invested US$800m into Mozambique agriculture. The price of land in Africa is the cheapest in the world.
September last year, thirteen people died and hundreds were wounded in Mozambique when police cracked down on a three-day protest over a 30 percent hike in the price of bread.
Mozambique bread riots could be a warning sign for African nations who have leased fertile agricultural land to foreign countries. Nearly 250,000 acres has been secured by the Swedish firm Skebab to produce biofuels.
Many African small-holder farmers know they can be moved off their land at any time, and the growing number of farming deals confirms their worst fears. As a result, many African farmers are reluctant to invest in their land or to improve their techniques, knowing the benefit may be taken away in the future.
Food security threats to the world
According to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “By 2050, the risk of hunger is projected to increase by 10 – 20 %, and child malnutrition is anticipated to be 20 % higher compared to a no-climate change scenario.” It’s easy to blame climate change, a convenient scapegoat, rather than overpopulation and foreign investors as the biggest driver of growing food scarcity.
Although the estimated 700-900 million of the world's poor suffer in silence, food shortages have recently caused riots in Bolivia, Peru, Mozambique, Haiti, Indonesia and India. Within 40 years, global food production will have to increase by at least 40 percent to feed the additional 2.5 billion people who will then inhabit a planet endowed with just 11 percent arable land. Haiti, Indonesia, Cameroon and Mozambique have all been racked by violent food riots.
CSIRO efforts to lift food production
The CSIRO is predicting global crop yields need to double within 50 years to meet food demand. The benefits of Norman Borlaug’s “green revolution” are finite and his 40 year reprieve of food shortages has ended.
Dr Jeremy Burdon is the head of CSIRO's plant industry division. His researchers are collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Science to lift food production. They're trying to fast track plant breeding of improved wheat, rice and corn varieties. It’s an attempt at another “green revolution”.
I believe that we can generate another green revolution as a consequence of the application of modern biological techniques – using GM technologies.
Sharp rises in food prices in 2008 and 2010 had demonstrated that supply was no longer meeting demand, said Professor Julian Cribb, author of The Coming Famine.
Professor Robin Batterham
One of the prime minister's advisers on science and innovation, Professor Robin Batterham says purchasing farms in Mozambique, a former African food bowl, should be investigated to shore up Australia's food supply.
Looming food crisis showing on our shelves - The Age 3 April
Professor Robin Batterham, wants Australian companies to consider buying land in Mozambique to counterbalance foreign purchases of farming land in Australia and shore up Australia's food supply. Why are we losing control of our own land, and failing to enforce our sovereignty?
Instead of heading towards a “big Australia”, and adding to the number of parasite nations grabbing land in developing countries where they need it, we should protect our nation, our people, and our food production against global greed. We hear a lot about “sustainability” but government policies simply rough-shod over any sustainable and ethical principles.
The suggestion by Prof Robin Batterham that we buy up farms in Mozambique to ensure OUR food security is reprehensible.
Globalization and a “free market” economy means that nations with power can legally grab territories from indigenous people, living on subsistence levels, and corruptly threaten their well-being, human rights, and survival.
Is there really any social justice or ethics that we continue to grow our own population and consumption levels if it means we parasitically must aquire valuable arable land from a country already being preyed upon by developed nations?
Mon, 2011-04-04 08:52
This weeping sore of colonialism
Mary (not verified)
Tue, 2011-04-05 14:50
Australia's food security is being ignored
Tue, 2011-04-05 17:14
Polarisation of populations
Wed, 2011-04-06 00:22
Zimbabweans to go hungry so that Australians can eat?
Robin Batterham was interviewed on ABC Radio's The World Today story Doubts about Australia's ability to feed itself earlier today.
The story gives a contradictory picture of Austalia's ability to feed itself, At one point reporter Simon Lauder said:
This is the same Robin Batterham who is advocating the Australia buy Zimbabwean farms, so that Australians can feed themsleves with food now being fed to Zimbabweans. Lauder immediately added:
In confirmation of Simon Lauder's statement, Batterham then said:
Simon Lauder said:
How could these reporters would have failed to notice that Australia has massively boosted its population in recent decades and that many prominent Federal politicians as well as State Governments are using every opportunity to promote further population growth?
Let's hope that next time the like of Victorian Premier Ted Ballieu appears on ABC Radio preaching that further population growth must be accepted, he should be asked if he is really prepared to see Zimbabweans to to go without food so that Australians can eat.
Wed, 2011-04-06 02:55
We will go hungry so that developers can be rich