John Boyd Jr., President of the National Black Farmers Association, has sounded an alarm concerning China's growing influence on U.S. farming and food security. Boyd's apprehensions revolve around China's strategic investments in U.S. farmland and industries like hog production. The underlying question of these concerns is: are we unwittingly trading our food sovereignty for foreign capital?
Over the past two years, Chinese entities have significantly increased their investments in rural U.S. farmland, particularly in Oklahoma, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Virginia. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in 2021 that China controls approximately 383,000 acres of U.S. farmland, contributing to an estimated $1.9 billion in revenue. This trend has been viewed by some, like Boyd, as an implicit threat to national food security.SourceMoneyGuru-https://www.mgkx.com/4863.html
The competitive financial capabilities of Chinese companies are driving land prices far beyond what most American farmers can afford. While a domestic farmer might budget $4,000 to $5,000 per acre, the presence of Chinese-backed investors in bidding wars has seen some lands sell for an exorbitant $15,000 to $20,000 per acre. In this way, our farmers, the very backbone of our rural economy, are being priced out of their own market.SourceMoneyGuru-https://www.mgkx.com/4863.html
In addition, Boyd highlights the shortcomings of the Biden administration in mitigating farm foreclosures and circumscribing China's access to land near sensitive U.S. infrastructure and military bases. It seems that the government's vigilance may be faltering when it comes to protecting American farmers and farmland.SourceMoneyGuru-https://www.mgkx.com/4863.html
On a legislative front, a bipartisan effort has emerged to curb foreign ownership of U.S. agricultural land. The "Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act" aims to restrict not only China but also countries like Iran, North Korea, and Russia from buying U.S. farmland or participating in certain USDA-directed programs. However, this potential safeguard is yet to be enacted and awaits congressional approval.SourceMoneyGuru-https://www.mgkx.com/4863.html
Boyd does not mince words in his critique of lawmakers for not acting more assertively to pass and enforce this law. He believes it is a critical step towards safeguarding American farmers, their land, and their businesses. Without swift action, the fear is that we may continue to surrender our farmland – and with it, our food security – to foreign control.SourceMoneyGuru-https://www.mgkx.com/4863.html
To conclude, the growing influence of China in U.S. farming raises uncomfortable questions about our nation's future food security and sovereignty. The competition from Chinese-backed companies is proving detrimental to American farmers, making land acquisition prohibitively expensive. Meanwhile, the perceived lack of adequate legislative and administrative measures to protect our farmers adds to these concerns. It is imperative that the U.S. government reinforces its commitment to protecting our nation’s farmers and farmland, keeping in mind the broader implications on food security.SourceMoneyGuru-https://www.mgkx.com/4863.html SourceMoneyGuru-https://www.mgkx.com/4863.html