Karuturi's 15 John Deere tractors plough 500 hectares a day on its 300,000 land concession in the Gambella region of Ethiopia. This is land clearance on a gigantic scale.
Land grabbing poses no harm on the environment or on the local community, says Saudi billionaire Sheik Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi who is seeking to expand his farmland in Ethiopia from 10,000 hectares to 250,000 hectares.
A controversial new farms policy has led to a number of arrests and the killings of 10 local farmers, say local activists.
Covers 10,000 ha in Gambela Regional State for the production of rice, for an initial period of 50 years, with option for renewal.
La voix de l’Anywaa Survival Organisation s’est élevée contre la politique de cession des terres adoptée par le gouvernement éthiopien.
Anywaa Survival Organisation's critique of the Ethiopian government's video presentation of rice land grab in the Gambela region.
Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc, the newest food growing company formed by Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi, is to acquire 100,000sqm of land in Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) this week, its senior official disclosed.
"This apparent rush to lease so much farmland, much or all of it to foreign interests, during a time of worsening food insecurity should raise concern within the donor community about GoE motivations and negotiating capacity," writes the US embassy in Addis Ababa in December 2009
Al-Amoudi's recently established Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc requested, two weeks ago, an additional 250,000 ha of land in Ethiopia for sugar beet production.
Ethiopia's potential can be maximized only if we Ethiopians are the producers and sellers of our own agricultural products. What Meles Zenawi is doing now is putting this upside down. He made our potential buyers the sellers of our commodity.
Sources close to Al-Amoudi said that the king has shown an interest in seeing other Saudi companies involved in rice farming after seeing the samples presented by Al-Amoudi
Sheik Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi, the second richest person in Saudi Arabia, is preparing to farm cereals on hundreds of thousands of hectares of Ethiopian land for export to Saudi Arabia