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October 17, 2011

3 million hectares ready for investors in Ethiopia

by  Meron Tekleberhan

Ethiopia readied over 3 million hectares of land to be made available for investors developing large-scale commercial farms. This land has been made available to foreign and local investors said Esayas Kebede director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

3.6 million hectares were made available for foreign direct investment from the National Land Bank. 400,000 hectares of this land has been allocate already - 70% to Indian investors said Esayas, at the India-Africa Business Partnership Summit. The summit was organized by the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to promote bilateral trade between India and Ethiopia.

Other investment opportunities also exist in the areas of horticulture, floriculture, agro processing, meat, dairy and leather products according to Esayas. Leasing rates are competitive and investment opportunities for investors from China, India and other countries to contribute to the development aims of the country he added. Commercial farming initiatives are expected to help solving food shortage in the country according to Esayas.

Government policy in Ethiopia is clear in establishing incentives, explained Esayas.

Ethiopia promotes cultivation of palm oil, cotton, rubber and sugarcane. The government identified areas of priority for investment and has so far attracted investments of approximately 6 billion US dollars from India alone. More than 9,200 investors, 1300 0f which are foreign, have received licenses for the purposes of developing large scale commercial farming since 1996.

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