Muammar al-Gaddafi wants food importing nations to stop buying up African land.

"Rich countries are now buying the land in Africa. They are cheating African people out of their rights. This is also going to happen in Latin America." the Libyan leader told a U.N. summit on hunger earlier this week.

In the last few years richer countries like China, India, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia have been buying up huge tracts of productive farmland and oil rich acres in poor countries like Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. These deals are usually in the millions of acres and often come with 99 year lease terms.

It's modern colonialism. Instead of using armies and guns, outside countries are taking over African resources with dollars paid to often corrupt regimes who stand little chance of being around in nine years, nevermind 99. Local Africans get shut out of the best and most productive lands, the government leaders get to build new palaces and buy more tanks, and richer countries get access to cheap food. It's win, lose, win, with the local Africans being the losers.

The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization plans to draft guidelines to try to prevent further exploitation and to bring more transparency to deals — one criticism cast against many of the deals is that they were done behind closed doors. Hopefully their efforts will prove effective, the problem is fairly recent, having roots in the big jumps in food prices in 2007/2008, there is still time to nip this potentially troubling problem in the bud.

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Gaddafi: Stop African farmland grab
The UN is meeting to discuss the problem of Asian and Middle Eastern countries buying up massive swaths of African farmland.