Oxfam claims food shortages are caused by land grabs:
It's not necessarily a problem when wealthy companies invest in
agricultural land in poor countries for commercial use. But when
families are kicked off the land or less food is grown as a result,
that's a very big problem indeed. Recent data indicates that at least
33 million hectares of land deals have been identified since 2001 – an
area 8 times the size of the Netherlands.
And since the food price spikes of 2008, that's been happening more
Demand for land has soared as investors look for places to grow food
for export, grow crops for biofuels, or simply buy-up land for profit.
But in many cases, land sold as “unused” or “undeveloped” is actually
being used by poor families to grow food. These families are often
forcibly kicked off the land. Promises of compensation are broken.
Often people are violently evicted by hired thugs.
Assuming The Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman is a more credible source than Oxfam, here's one recent report Oxfam's land grab page linked to:
August 14, 2013
Background to the Complaint
The IFC-supported Agri-Vie Agribusiness Fund is a private equity fund
with the purpose of making equity investments in agribusiness
companies in Southern and Eastern Africa. In its current portfolio,
Agri-Vie has invested in New Forests Company (NFC), a UK-based
forestry company operating established and growing timber plantations
in Eastern Africa. Operational in Uganda since 2005, NFC operates three pine and eucalyptus plantations - in the Mubende, Kiboga and Bugiri
In December 2011 affected community
representatives, Oxfam International, Oxfam Great Britain, and the
Uganda Land Alliance (a national consortium of organizations
advocating on land issues) submitted a complaint to the CAO on behalf
of people living around the plantation in Mubende. The complaint
raised concern s about evictions and displacement in the plantation
area, alleging that the evictions negatively impacted the communities
by displacing them from land, destroying their private property, and
forcing them to forgo health, education, and livelihood opportunities.
The complaint also voiced broader concerns about the IFC’s due
Energy, Environment and Resources EER PP 2013/01, "The Trouble with Biofuels: Costs and Consequences of Expanding Biofuel Use in the United Kingdom", by Rob Bailey, April 2013 agrees with Oxfam's research:
Current biofuel standards do not ensure biofuel use is sustainable
Agricultural biofuel use increases the level and volatility of food
prices, with detrimental impacts on the food security of low-income
So Africans are too poor to buy their own food, if they can even grow it, because they're being robbed of their wealth by greedy people.*
If they were able to, they could aid themselves, so food aid is not the cause of famines.
*: Merriam-Webster defines "greed" as:
a selfish desire to have more of something (especially money)
And "selfish" as:
having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or
feelings of other people
Assuming the victims of alleged land grabs as "other people", then those responsible for them losing their land are greedy. QED
Feel free to refute my logic in the comment section.
Coca-Cola has committed to ending abuse among its suppliers:
In Q1 2014, we will incorporate and publish FPIC guidance into our
Supplier Guiding Principles under the section regarding Laws and
Regulations as well as in the Sustainable Agriculture Guiding
Principles, establishing auditable criteria for FPIC to be implemented
as new supplier audits are conducted.
Yet, if poor people cannot earn money by working for low wages, how will they be supported if not through aid (e.g. social security)? The USA had child labor (source, source), but is now #2 at obesity: Study. Would the USA have prospered without that shameful phase? The exercise of answering that question must be left for another occasion.