Daewoo leases Madagascan land for crops

Daewoo leases Madagascan land for crops

A lot of countries don't grow nearly enough food to feed themselves. Britain is one; South Korea, another.

Agricultural land near Flanarantsoa in Madagascar

Daewoo plans to grow food crops using South African labour

However, the giant South Korean conglomerate, Daewoo, has come up with a novel way of solving the problem of food security.

It has leased a vast tract of land, 1.3 million acres, on the African island of Madagascar. The lease will last for 99 years.

Some see the scheme as good news for African countries with land to spare, whilst others view it more as a new form of colonialism, grabbing land in countries which are not agriculturally self-sufficient.

Abdolreza Abbassian is an economist with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Listen Listen to Abdolreza Abbassian (3 mins 59 secs)

Carl Atkins is head of research at Bidwells Agribusines, an international consultancy group.

He highlighted some of the countries most likely to seek foreign land to lease, as well as those which could provide that land.

Listen Listen to Carl Atkins (3 mins 27 secs)

First broadcast 20 November 2008