A good statistic can rapidly become the victim of its own success. It’s easy to parrot cocktail-party facts such as the contention that more than half of us (whoever ‘we’ are) now live in cities (whatever a ‘city’ is). Things get a bit dicier when those same facts are posited as future trends.
Using this as a backdrop, this month’s 3QuarksDaily column looks at the large number of arable-land transactions that have occurred in recent years. What are the consequences of leasing out 15% of your country’s agricultural land for peanuts? What does this mean for global supply chains, and the rural-urban divide? It would seem another absurdist triumph for late-stage capitalism, but I somehow manage to end on a hopeful note nonetheless.