Africa produces 10% less food than it did in 1960. During that same period, the population has tripled. Following the story of an industrial sugar plantation rising on the banks of the Niger River in Mali, this film asks how Africa can feed itself in coming decades. 'Land Rush' is one of eight 'Why Poverty?' films.
Africa produces 10% less food than it did in 1960. During that same period, the population has tripled. This film asks how Africa can feed itself in coming decades. From Chinese sugar cane growers to US bio-fuel producers, the West African country of Mali is awash with foreign agricultural investors. Working hand-in-hand with the Malian government, they highlight their colossal investments as the ultimate win-win for one of the world's poorest countries. Critics claim they are more interested in making profits than improving the lives of local farmers. 'Land Rush' tells the story of an ambitious plan to build a vast sugar cane farm on the edge of the Sahara desert. As a massive web of canals takes shape alongside the Niger River, a battle rages for the allegiances of those farmers forced to leave their land. Over the course of the film, the farmers' lives will change irrevocably. We investigate whether these changes herald a bright future for Africa's hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers or simply a new 'scramble for Africa'. Harnessing superb behind-the-scenes access to tell its observational story of high finance confronting complex questions of poverty and self-sufficiency, 'Land Rush' confronts a situation with no easy answers. The film forces viewers to question the ethical boundaries of their own beliefs and to ask what price is acceptable in the name of progress.