GRAIN, the international organization which work to support small local farmers, has recently published another interesting article on the so-called “Land Grabbing” phenomena. The article focuses on “Senegal” and reveals once again the big opacity behind such “Land Deals”.
According to GRAIN, farmers from northwestern Senegal have travelled to Europe to demand the scrapping of a land deal that threatens the lives and livelihoods of some 9,000 people. In fact, the international conglomerate, Senhuile SA, has leased 20,000 hectares of land in the Ndiaël Reserve, this land has been used for decades by residents of some 40 villages in the area. The villagers want the project stopped, saying it will cut off their access to grazing land, water, food and firewood – ultimately forcing them off their homes and land.
Senhuile SA is a joint venture controlled by Italy's Tampieri Financial Group, Senegalese investors, and Agro Bioethanol International, a shell company registered in New York. The herders, along with representatives of the Conseil National de Concertation et de Coopération des Ruraux (CNCR) and the Senegalese non-governmental organisations ENDA Pronat and ActionAid, went in Europe in March 2014 to mobilise citizens to call on Tampieri, Senhuile's majority shareholder, to close down the project.
A new report released by the Oakland Institute exposes the numerous flaws with this project, including the lack of consultation with and consent from local communities, the opaque nature of Senhuile’s operations, as well as the devastating impact of the project on people’s livelihoods. Some 6,000 hectares have already been cleared and planted with different crops.
LTEconomy, 27 March 2013