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Latest update : 2013-07-19

Canada: A Chinese Eldorado?

Canada is a vast, fertile and sparsely populated country, a fact not lost on Chinese immigrants. Many of them are now buying up land and becoming farmers. Our reporter Fabrice Hoss went to meet them.

Since moving to Canada in 2009, I had always wanted to explore Saskatchewan. I was no doubt intrigued by its mysterious name. It comes from the Saskatchewan River, which in Cree - a Native American language - means "swift-flowing river".

Saskatchewan remains a little-known land, including in Canada, where reports on the province are few and far between.

On arrival at the small airport of Regina, the provincial capital, I discover windswept fields as far as the eye can see, ploughed by huge tractors. The scene fits the reputation of the province, which supplies half of Canada's agricultural production.

I have come to Saskatchewan after hearing that Chinese investors, attracted by the price and availability of land, are buying it up and replacing Canadian farmers. The Chinese want to grow crops, especially wheat, and export the products to Asia.

I head to the small town of Ogema, the epicentre of the phenomenon. It has just 368 inhabitants, a post office, a hotel with a restaurant and a school where the farmers send their children. I meet Sheldon Zou, a former Tiananmen Square protester now in his forties. He has come here to make his fortune. My report can now begin.

By Fabrice HOSS

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