Despite the lucrative returns that foreign investors can achieve by investing in African agriculture, the on-the-ground realities of operating in the continent is often less rosy.
Karuturi, which has 300,000 ha in Ethiopia, is now targeting the DRC, Tanzania, Mozambique, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
Indian-listed Karuturi Global, which has leased land in Ethiopia for commercial farming, plans to export cereals, sugar and edible oil to South Sudan and Kenya upon completing cultivation in 2014.
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“I wouldn’t define it as land grabbing. We exploit the economic opportunities which came about after the food price shock of 2007,” says Birinder Singh, the manager of Karuturi Agro Products. BBC slideshow.
The growing insecurity and violence in Gambela, seen in the recent loss of human lives and attacks on government institutions, should be seen as a clear warning to investors about the dangers involved in large scale agricultural investments, says the Anywaa Survival Organisation.
Karuturi Agro Products Plc, part of holding company Karuturi Glolabal Ltd, is planning to go public, floating 200,000 shares worth 1,000 Br each to Ethiopian investors, once it gets the nod from its board of directors.
Ethiopia is forcibly relocating 70,000 people from Gambella to make fertile land available for foreign investment in agriculture--aggravating current hunger while laying the groundwork for future famine in Ethiopia
“There is no villagization programme,” Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi, founder of Karuturi Global, told Mint via telephone. “This is a completely jaundiced western vision. They assume anything in Africa has to be done by the whites and the Chinese and Indians should have businesses only in their own countries.”