Karuturi expects to acquire 311,700 ha of land in Tanzania that is similar to Ethiopia and has already applied for 1000 ha of land at Rufiji Basin, Coast Region.
The company plans to lease land to grow palm oil, sugar cane and cereals in Tanzania, to add to land it has acquired in Ethiopia. Karuturi is visiting Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia as part of a delegation of 35 Indian investors.
AgriSol Energy LLC, and its joint venture partner in Tanzania will invest more than $100 million over the next 10 years to develop a large-scale commercial farming project.
Within agriculture, conflicts revolve around land and water sources ownership and use. The case of Karatu Kiru valley sugarcane farming where one of the investors was killed by local community on May 31, 2011 serves as an illustration
“This notion of saying that we have enough land is untrue, as the land we have now does not only belongs to us but also to our future generations,” Dr Damian Gabagambi of Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania says.
While Serengeti Advisers and their partners as well as the Tanzanian government thought theirs was a move to attract Foreign Direct Investment in commercial farming, to critics the deal is another land grabbing done by the pimps of globalization.
Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives shadow minister Meshack Opurukwa has questioned a contract between the government of Tanzania and a US-based firm – Agrisol Energy – in which the latter is to acquire huge chunks of land in Rukwa region to produce food crops.
Land-Grabbing is slowly becoming a serious problem in Tanzania with the poor being turned into landless citizens in their own country in the name of foreign investors.
Chunks of land that are being targeted for Kilimo Kwanza belong to rural-based small producers who are likely to lose it to large-scale investors as pillar number five of the programme advocates for amendments of the Village Land Act No. 5 of 1999 to facilitate acquisition of land for large scale investment.
At least 21 investors from famous US firms who were in Tanzania to scout for business opportunities for 10 days have acquired, among other things, land for production of food crops in East Africa’s second largest economy.
The most disturbing question here is: who should have powers to give 800,000 hectares to a foreigner under a 99-year lease arrangement, and under what procedures?
The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation pours $150 million into fund targeting farmland acquisitions in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia