India, once the colonial jewel of Britain's empire, has been accused of 'neo-colonialism' in Africa where its business people have joined a race with China, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere to buy up agricultural estates and take advantage of cheap labour.
Indian farming companies have bought hundreds of thousands of hectares in Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal and Mozambique, where they are growing rice, sugar cane, maize and lentils for their own domestic market back in India.
Its government has given soft loans as aid to support the overseas ventures in what has been described as a challenge to China and Saudi Arabia in the new scramble for Africa. China, South Korea, and a several Arab countries have led the way in creating new African mega-farms to outsource domestic food production and use cheaper labour. More...