Agro-colonialism in the Congo: European and US development finance bankrolls a new round of agro-colonialism in the DRC

GRAIN Media release 2 June 2015

March 2015: participants at the meeting in Mozité, Yahuma District declared: “We demand, first and foremost, the start of negotiations to reclaim our rights over the lands that have been illegally taken from us over the past 104 years.” (Photo: GRAIN)

Several prominent development finance institutions (DFIs) are funding Feronia Inc., a Canadian agribusiness company accused of land grabbing and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). March 2015: participants at the meeting in Mozité, Yahuma District declared: “We demand, first and foremost, the start of negotiations to reclaim our rights over the lands that have been illegally taken from us over the past 104 years.” (Photo: GRAIN) Community leaders living within the 100,000 hectares covered by Feronia Inc.’s oil palm concession areas say the land was taken from them illegally and that they never gave their consent for Feronia to operate there. Feronia is violating DFI policies that prevent companies they invest in from operating on lands that were acquired without the free, prior and informed consent of local communities. Feronia Inc. operates plantations and a large-scale cereal farm on 120,000 ha of land concessions in the DRC. Its oil palm concessions were acquired from the transnational food company Unilever in 2009. The company is over 80 percent owned by the UK’s CDC Group and a number of other DFIs—including the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)—through their investments in the Mauritius-based African Agriculture Fund (AAF). – See more at: http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24993-agro-colonialism-in-the-congo#sthash.vd66OtJr.dpuf

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