buy up something

Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 07:01 am
Asian and Middle East governments or state-sponsored agencies, worried about a sudden surge in food prices, bought up farmland in Africa.

What does "bought up farmland in Africa" mean?
--The produce from the farmland or the framland(s) itself?
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Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 10:38 am
I would read that to mean the farmland itself.
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Robert Gentel
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 01:43 pm
The phrasal verb "buy up" means to "buy all of". So as DrewDad says, it refers to the land and the "up" just adds the meaning of buying it all to the verb to buy.
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 04:21 pm
@Robert Gentel,

What Robert Gentel said is correct of course, that to "buy up" means to "buy all of", but this doesn't make much sense in the current example.
That is, the purchasers clearly did not buy up all the farmland in Africa.
Rather we could assume that, in a particular area, they bought all the land they could, maybe all that came onto the market in a particular timeframe.
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