To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

February 01, 2012

Is Indian investment in Ethiopian farms a 'land grab?'

When an Indian company invests hundreds of millions of dollars in Ethiopian commercial farming, is it boosting Ethiopia's food reserves and modernizing agricultural practices? Or is it grabbing land and displacing Ethiopia's poorest citizens?

The debate over Indian-owned Karuturi Global's investments in Ethiopia's Gambella region may sound extreme, but it is representative of the strong emotions one finds across the developing world about the subject of agricultural investment.

In Ethiopia – where critics are aghast at the government for inviting foreign capitalists to grow cash crops for export while millions still rely on handouts – the rancor is hindering much-needed constructive discussion on how to improve a sector of the economy that employs most of the population.

Much coverage of this debate tends to the sensational. A piece by the Guardian, for instance, claimed that there was evidence of displacement because of Karuturi’s rice, palm oil, sugar and cereals operations, but none was provided.

Huffington Post columnist Alemayehu G. Mariam – a vociferous US-based critic of the Ethiopian government – re-reported Karuturi's farm manager's comment that the company had not seen the land before renting it. Managing Director Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi begs to differ. "I stayed in Gambella for 45 days researching the area before narrowing down on the location," he responds.

The tone of these types of critiques – portraying deals merely as agro-imperialism facilitated by a bungling state – enrage officials, sidelining crucial issues and further reducing the already slim chances of engaging the government.

..more...Christain Science Monitor

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP