See video
60 min
Year of Production: 
September 1, 2012
English (with dubbing and subtitles in other languages for global broadcast)

Land Rush asks the question: How do you feed the world? In 2008 the world’s food system began to fall apart. Threatened with hunger, rich countries started buying up and leasing fertile tracks of the developing world. With 60% of all arable land in Africa, large agribusiness started to move in, often forcing out traditional, subsistence farmers.

In Mali, 75% of the population are farmers, but rich, land-hungry nations are leasing Mali's land in order to turn large areas into agribusiness farms. Many Malian peasants do not welcome these efforts, seeing them as yet another manifestation of imperialism. The film explores the conflicting views of Malian farmers as some see change as necessary for survival. Through the Sosumar scheme (a US and South African agricultural project), the film also looks at alternative ways of investing in land in developing countries with an emphasis on the involvement of the local community. However, as Mali experiences a military coup, the developers are scared off and the question remains - can Mali's farmers combat food shortages and escape poverty on their own terms?

Following the worldwide broadcast, the series of documentaries has been made available online for downloading to be used by organisations, schools and anybody wishing to stimulate debate around poverty.


This one-hour documentary is part of a series of documentaries that form part of the Why Poverty? campaign, a cross media event taking place in November 2012. Eight award-winning film makers were asked to produce this series of documentaries about poverty, with each documentary looking at a different aspect of poverty. The series will be broadcast by 70 broadcasters from around the world reaching more than 500 million people via television, radio, internet and live events.

Hugo Berkeley & Osvalde Lewat
Eli Cane
Production Company: 
Normal Life Pictures