In the wake of the global food crisis of 2008 Middle Eastern oil producers have announced multi-billion investments to secure food supplies from outside the region.
So called landgrab investments are at the heart of the global food security challenge and put the Middle East in the spotlight of simultaneous global crises in the fields of food, finance and energy.
Water scarcity here is most pronounced, import dependence growing and the links between oil and food are manifold ranging from the economics of biofuels to climate change and the provision of crucial input factors.
In the future the Middle East will not only play a prominent role in global oil but also in global food markets, this time on the consumption side.
Given the amount of publicity that landgrab investments have attracted two things are striking: Few projects have been implemented thus far and the Middle East investors appear largely as a black box.
Why have they set out to undertake such investments, why do they mistrust international markets and what geopolitical implications are behind the current investment drive?
This blog tries to follow developments, stir debates and provide some answers.