Thursday, August 25, 2011

India to invest in African land

From Oryza:

Africa’s “land grab” continues with India agribusiness set to spend $2.5 billion to buy or rent land for decades in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda to grow palm oil, maize, cotton, rice, and vegetables, mostly for the domestic Indian market and global markets under several deals being discussed. Some land is being offered for decade-long leases at just $1.50 per hectare or about 60 cents per acre. Investors point out that east Africa has as much arable land as all of India...

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a division of the UN, notes that “new international players, including the governments and some companies of the Gulf States, China, Libya, India and South Korea, have begun to acquire land, partly in response to the 2007-08 price spike in commodities.” FAO reports that at least 60 million hectares of land in Africa has been bought or leased for up to 100 years. There are also large land deals taking place in South America.

Many of these land purchase and lease agreements have been criticized for their lack of transparency and further consolidation of food production and processing.

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