Before going further, it is important to recognize that land grabs are not only happening in Africa and, while there is a “global rush to lock up African farmland” by state-owned companies and private investors, different investors have different motives.  One group of investors are Arab investors, who have the appeal “that Islam has made significant inroads in Africa, creating cultural and religious links” in their land grabs.
Within this group are Saudi investors, who began a push, thanks to the support of the royal Saudi government and its dictator King Abdullah II in 2008, to “acquire cropland abroad and grow food for export to the homeland.”
Some of these land grabs include the acquisition of land in Ethiopia, in 2009, to grow rice and in Sudan to grow wheat, corn, and soybeans for export to Saudi Arabia.  For the land grab in Ethiopia, every day a group of 1,000 locals pick, pack, and load “hundreds of tons of fresh production onto waiting trucks. After reaching the capital, Addis Ababa, the product is flown to a handful of Middle Eastern cities, entirely bypassing Ethiopia, one of the hungriest places on the planet” as Nancy MacDonald describes it.