SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

The Sudanese breadbasket: Land and water grabs by Middle Eastern economies

Tony Allan, KCL and SOAS; Eckart Woertz, Princeton and Barcelona Centre for International Affairs; Harry Verhoeven, Oxford University; Martin Keulertz, KCL

Date: 4 December 2012Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 4 December 2012Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

The ongoing food price spikes on the global commodity markets have alerted Middle Eastern decision-makers since 2007/08. Faced by high population growth, severe water scarcity and changing consumption patterns towards more water-intensive protein-based diets, the Middle East has become one of the most vulnerable regions in terms of food security in the world. One response by wealthy economies such as the GCC has been to re-discover the potential Sudanese “breadbasket” – a strategy that was originally conceived during the food price spikes of the 1970s. 

The seminar will shed light on the drivers and impacts of the renewed attempt by Middle Eastern investors to provide domestic food security through an enclosure of Sudanese farmland and will bring together four academics and researchers, who have extensively researched the phenomenon of “land grabbing” by Middle Eastern economies in the past four years from a political-economic, historical and environmental perspective. The authors will present their contributions to the Handbook on Land and Water Grabs: foreign direct investment and water and food security (Routledge 2013).

Organiser: London Middle East Institute

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