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Land Grabs in Africa Leave Communities Impoverished April 5th, 2012

The problem of land grabbing in Africa and Asia by investment firms and multinational corporations is a serious and growing problem. Governments make deals with large multinational companies while thousands of poor farmers are left with inadequate compensation, low wages, polluted water and exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals that cause health problems.

While problems with land grabs abound, SOCFIN Agriculture. Co. is a particularly egregious company. Owned by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, SOCFINAF Group owns and operates plantations of rubber, oil palm and coffee in Indonesia, Cambodia, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Liberia. SOCFIN recently has secured 6,500 hectares of farmland for rubber/palm oil production in Sierra Leone.

The Oakland Institute, a California-based think-tank, has detailed a pattern of coercion, lack of consultation, and failure to fairly compensate Sierra Leonean landowners who have been pressured into ceding their land to the corporate giant. Watch this video on SOCFIN’s Sierra Leone’s operations:

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