Screening: Land Rush + debate

Screening November 12, 2012 7:00 PM

This film is part of Why Poverty?, a cross media event, online and on TV, using films to get people talking about poverty. The screening will be followed by a debate with director Hugo Berkeley and Kate Townsend from BBC Storyville.

Can the world feed itself? When the food system began falling apart in 2008, rich countries started buying up and leasing fertile tracks of the developing world. In 2009 alone, nearly 60 million hectares – an area the size of France – was purchased or leased in Africa.

In Land Rush directors Hugo Berkeley and Osvalde Lewat look at the situation in Mali where 75% of the population are farmers, but rich, land-hungry nations like China and Saudi Arabia are leasing land in order to turn large areas into agribusiness farms. American sugar developer Mima Nedelcovych’s wants to deliver change through his ambitious scheme, Sosumar. Unlike some of his competitors he considers the involvement of the local communities as key to the project’s success. However, many in the community remain unconvinced and see the plantation as nothing short of a neo-colonial outpost.

As Mali experiences a military coup, the developers are scared off – but can Mali’s farmers combat food shortages and escape poverty on their own terms?

Directed by Hugo Berkeley & Osvalde Lewat
Duration: 58′
Year: 2012