農地囲い込み 国際的な行動規範が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 12, 2009)
1st World shouldn't grab 3rd World's farmland
農地囲い込み 国際的な行動規範が必要だ(7月12日付・読売社説)

Major food-importing countries and those that are concerned about securing a stable supply of food have been accelerating moves to buy or rent farmland in developing nations.
 食料輸入国や食料確保に不安を持つ国が、発展途上国の農地を買収したり、借り上げたりする動きを強めている。

Such moves are aimed at cultivating agricultural products on a large scale for the countries acquiring the farmland and making the developing nations in question bases from which the purchasing and leasing nations can import food. They are also aimed at making the developing nations stable food suppliers in preparation for another possible worldwide hike in food prices.
 自国向けの作物を大規模に栽培し、輸入拠点にするためだ。世界的な食料価格高騰の再来に備え、安定した食料調達先とする狙いがある。

Generally speaking, the expansion of investment in agriculture leads to increased food production and better productivity. But if competition for farmland becomes overheated and is unregulated, it could lead to the exploitation of developing nations' farm products.
 一般的には農業投資の拡大は食料増産や生産性向上に役立つ。だが、無秩序な“農地争奪戦”が過熱すれば、途上国などからの農作物の収奪につながりかねない。

The declaration issued by the Group of Eight leaders in their latest summit meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, includes a clause stating that the G-8 will establish an international protocol concerning farmland acquisition. The G-8 nations should quickly make efforts to establish a new norm of conduct for that purpose in close cooperation with developing nations and the United Nations.
 イタリアで開かれた主要国首脳会議(ラクイラ・サミット)の首脳宣言には、農地取得に関する国際ルールを定めることが盛り込まれた。主要8か国は途上国や国連などと連携し、新たな行動規範づくりを急ぐべきだ。

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New brand of colonialism

Oil-producing countries in the Middle East and China have been rushing to obtain farmland to supply their needs. Using their abundant foreign reserves as capital, these countries have snapped up hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland abroad to cultivate wheat, corn, cotton and other agricultural products there.
 農地取得に熱心なのは中東産油国と中国だ。豊富な外貨準備をもとに、アジアやアフリカですでに10万ヘクタール単位の農地を手に入れ、小麦やトウモロコシ、綿花などを栽培する計画を進めている。

Including land deals currently under negotiation, the total amount of farmland purchased or rented by the countries and companies at the forefront of moves to obtain farmland is estimated at 20 million hectares. This means they have annexed farmland with a total area more than four times the total cultivated hectarage in Japan.
 交渉中の案件も含めると、これらの国や企業が購入または賃借した農地は2000万ヘクタールに達するという。日本の耕地総面積の4倍強の農地が囲い込まれつつある。

For developing nations suffering a shortage of funds for agricultural development, selling or renting out farmland offers corollary advantages in terms of land improvement, maintenance and improvement of irrigation facilities and the introduction of new agricultural technologies.
 農業開発の資金が不足している途上国にとって、農地の提供には、土地改良やかんがい施設の整備、新たな農業技術の導入といった利点がある。

But experts point out that farmland in strife-torn and cash-poor developing nations can end up being exploited, leading to negative consequences such as pollution of water sources and disruption of ecosystems due to excessive land reclamation.
 一方、軍事的、経済的な圧力で、途上国側が不利な条件の下、農地を収奪されたり、無理な開墾によって水の汚染や生態系が破壊される問題も指摘されている。

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization warns that the rapacious acquisition of farmland and water represents a new type of colonialism. On this point, it is instructive that there have been cases in which countries and companies keen to obtain farmland were forced to drop their plans to do so in the face of opposition from farmers in developing nations.
 国連食糧農業機関(FAO)は「農地や水を丸ごと買い上げるのは新たな植民地主義だ」と警告している。途上国側の農民の反対で取得を断念した例も出始めた。

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Japan must help write rule

For Japan, the world's largest food-importing country, these developments are a problem that cannot be ignored.
 こうした動きは、世界一の食料輸入国である日本にとっても、座視できない問題だ。

It is crucial that Japan actively participate in the process of establishing an international convention on farmland acquisition and, in doing so, give serious consideration to the food situation and environment in developing nations. Also, one-sided export restrictions by food-exporting countries must be prevented and efforts made to spread sufficient food widely among poor countries.
 国際ルールの策定には日本も積極的に関与し、途上国の食料事情や環境に十分配慮したものにすることが肝要だ。食料輸出国による一方的な輸出規制に歯止めをかけ、貧しい国に食料が行き渡るよう努めることも大事だ。

Rather than participating in the race for farmland overseas, Japan should concentrate on raising its food self-sufficiency rate, which is now at about 40 percent.
 日本が優先すべきは、農地争奪戦への参入ではない。40%にとどまっている食料自給率を引き上げることである。

About 400,000 hectares of land in the nation have long been uncultivated, and the population of farmers is dwindling. Agriculture revival measures centering on intensive farming and the reuse of idle farmland have just started. The royal road toward food security for the nation starts with Japan using its own farmland.
 国内には40万ヘクタールもの耕作放棄地があり、農業従事者も減少する一方だ。農地の集約や休耕田の再活用による農業の再生策も始まったばかりだ。自らの農地の活用こそ食料安全保障の王道だろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 12, 2009)
(2009年7月12日01時38分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-07-12 09:08 | 英字新聞

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