China has been exploiting Africa’s agricultural sector to the tune of $1 billion per year, according to research by security firm Fortnite.
The security firm said that the attackers have exploited three types of bugs: the “dumb” ones, which allow the attackers to bypass authentication processes, the “smart” ones that are designed to bypass the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the “secure” ones.
The latter is a bug in Java that can be exploited to bypass Java Security Features, a security vulnerability that has been widely exploited by Chinese hackers.
According to Fortnit, China has targeted “approximately 300 million farms” and its activities have increased “significantly”.
“As of the end of March 2018, China’s agriculture sector accounted for approximately 3.1% of global agricultural production, with the United States at approximately 1.9%,” the firm said in a statement.
“The attack on China’s farmers has been going on for over 10 years and is the result of decades of Chinese government exploitation of African nations.”
Chinese agricultural exploitationThe attack is not new, Fortnites said.
China was “the most active importer of foreign agricultural products to Africa” from 2005 to 2015, according the report, which analyzed Chinese companies and their sales.
China has been increasing its agricultural footprint by exploiting agricultural sectors in several African countries.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in November 2018 that China is “leading the African food trade”.
China is also the largest importer in the continent.
“The agricultural sector in Africa is among the largest producers of food commodities, including sugar and coffee, in the world,” the FAO said in its report.
“In addition, China is the largest producer of agricultural commodities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It accounts for almost 30% of the global agricultural market.”
China has a large presence in Africa and has been developing its agricultural sector.
In 2016, Chinese authorities launched a campaign called “Fengshui, Peace and Prosperity” to “build up its agricultural base”, according to the report.
The report noted that the attack is targeting African governments and “large corporations”, as well as “small-scale and medium-scale businesses”.
“The attacks target the African governments’ ability to protect their crops and markets, to control the flow of goods and services to their markets, and to provide incentives to farmers to improve productivity,” it said.
“For small-scale farmers, the attack could be particularly detrimental, as they face the threat of having their crops stolen, and also face the risk of being unable to earn a living,” it added.
“As a result, the attacks could undermine the government’s efforts to promote sustainable agriculture and the sustainable development of the African continent.”
“The security challenges facing the African economy are increasing,” said Fortnits vice president of research, John Henson.
“These new vulnerabilities could make the entire African agricultural sector vulnerable to attacks.”
China’s government is responsible for much of the agricultural sector exploitation.
According the report:In 2018, the Chinese government “possessed more than 30% (26.5%) of the world’s agricultural land and controlled more than half (51.3%) of African’s total agricultural exports” according to a report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
China is the world leader in agricultural exploitation, accounting for about 60% of African countries’ total agricultural production.
The country has “the world’s largest market for agricultural commodities” according a 2017 UN report, with more than 10% of its agricultural exports coming from African countries alone.
“It’s clear that China’s agricultural footprint is rapidly growing,” Henson said.
The China-Africa trade deals were signed in 2017 and 2018, and the deals have since been signed into law, according, accordingto Fortnifest.
“There are still many opportunities for the Chinese to exploit African agricultural markets,” Hensons report said.
“For example, if Chinese companies can increase their agricultural market share in Africa, this would help China grow its market share and make China a dominant player in Africa.”
The Chinese agricultural exploitation is being driven by China’s economic ambitions, said Henson, as well a desire to exploit its own agriculture.
China, the world number two exporter of agricultural products, has been “exploiting” Africa’s market for food for more than a decade, according Fortniti.
China’s “agricultural sector is among its largest producers in the Americas,” the report said, “and it has the world largest agricultural market for sugar and cotton.”