Texas has most foreign-bought agricultural land in U.S., raises food security concerns

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AUSTIN – Over the last 10 years, Texas has led the nation in foreign purchases of agricultural land, which raises concerns about food security.

According to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, foreign companies and individuals own 1.7 million acres of pasture, timber and farmland totaling a worth of $3.3 billion, far more than any other state.

Because of these purchases, bills to tighten regulations on foreign investments in the agricultural sector have been filed. They were drafted to ensure that foreign buyers don’t endanger the U.S.’s access to a reliable food supply.

President of the Texas Farmers Union, Wesley Sims, is in favor of tighter rules of agricultural land being bought by foreign companies.

“We oppose foreign entities taking over our resources,” Sims said. “It’s not just food security; it’s national security. We’re always concerned about either one.”

According to the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act, most of Texas’ land was bought by European and North American individuals and companies including countries like Canada, Germany, Mexico, Portugal and China.