The Congolese government said it had signed similar agreements with China, Brazil and Israel.
El ministro de agricultura congoleño, Rigobert Maboundou, dijo que este acuerdo forma parte de un Plan de Acción de su Gobierno para consolidar la agricultura como un pilar de su economía y que, además de este pacto, el mayor de este tipo firmado en África, tienen otros similares con China, Brasil e Israel.
There has been criticism of the deal in France, pointing out that Denis Sassou-Nguesso, the Congolese president, is widely considered to be severely corrupt. But de Jager believes such attacks are motivated by a desire to protect French [farm export] interests against competition.
Peter Ndoro spoke to Dr Yao Graham, coordinator of Third World Network-Africa, a development agency, asking whether these deals really transfer technical expertise to locals.
"The motivation for South African farmers is simple," said Theo de Jager, Agri SA's deputy president, who helped negotiate the deal. "One in four farms must be redistributed in the next four or five years. So for new entrants into the sector and for those farmers who want to expand there is nowhere to go."
Can these deals benefit Africa? Have you been affected by one of these land deals? Should countries be leasing fertile land to foreign investors? Join a live BBC debate on 21 October 2009.
South Africa has signed a deal with the Republic of Congo that will give SA farmers access to up to 10 million ha of farmland, the country's biggest farmers' union said on Tuesday.
“The deal has been finalized and they have made land available free of charge,” Agri SA said. There’s no restriction on exports. The only condition is that the land is used.
Congolese officials say the land is made up of abandoned farms that the state used to operate.
While Agri SA has been leading a push for South African farmers to invest and farm in a number of other countries across Africa, including the Republic of Congo, Libya and Zambia, the union has urged its members to stay away from countries where South Africa has no investment protection agreements.
South Africa said on Friday it had been offered 48 square miles of land in Angola and Uganda and also a land lease agreement in Zambia.
South African farmers have been offered land for agriculture in Angola and Uganda and the government is also in talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Southern Sudan.