Friday, June 13, 2008
Countries Are Renting Farmland Abroad
As food crisis worsens, some nations are desperate for arable land
By Kent Garber
Posted June 12, 2008
The Persian Gulf may be flush with money from oil, but it is desperate for
food. Many of the richest countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia,
are handicapped by a dry, unforgiving climate and a shortage of farmland;
thus they must import more than 60 percent of their annual food supply.
Existing water stores are expected to be exhausted in 30 years, and yet,
food demand is growing. Population growth in the region is more than double
the world average, the prices of some staples are up more than 30 percent
this year, and civil unrest is mounting.