A Saudi Arabian company has leased tens of thousands of acres in western Ethiopia to grow rice for export. The Ethiopian government says it will help provide food security for its citizens, but some who live in the region, say they’re not seeing any benefits.
Investment by Indian-owned Karuturi Global has raised questions about whether Ethiopia is literally giving away the farm, or conversely, launching a 'green revolution' to help Ethiopia feed itself.
Issue number 4/2011 of 'New Routes' by Life & Peace Institute (Uppsala)
Domestic and foreign investors are expected to grow sugar cane and other cash crops on a large-scale in the south of Ethiopia, an area known for its numerous indigenous tribes.
In three years, 15,000ha will be covered with a sugarcane plantation in Gambela Province.
Karuturi Global is now one of the biggest private land owners in the world. They have invested over a quarter of a billion dollars in Ethiopia and Kenya alone. BBC reports.
Interest by both local and international companies to lease land has been met with criticism by some outside the region, yet locals are unperturbed.
On 31 January 2012 in Dubai, 2nd Commercial Farm Africa features panel of experts and in-depth analysis on land utilization & investment policies in Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Sudan, Namibia, Ghana and Ethiopia.
Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc, perhaps the biggest agro industry firm in Ethiopia, has added a big name to its roaster: Fikru Desalegn, former state minister for Capacity Building,
“We have finalised deals with four big agro companies in India for joint ventures for different crops that we are looking at growing – rice, maize, oil palm and sugarcane,” says Karuturi.
The 19th century had the Great Scramble for Africa, when developed nations raced for several decades to lay claim to new territories and their riches. This century may yet be known as the Great Selloff of Africa.
Oromo nationals in Berlin staged a peaceful demonstration to protest against Meles Zenawi’s sale of farmlands in Oromia to local and international land speculators and to show solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street Movement.