Binladin Group

Much tilling without harvest

Essentially, the Middle East is left with two choices. “The region has to import. The question is, invest abroad or rely on the free market?” said Dr Eckart Woertz, program manager in economics at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai.

10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now: 7. The Rent-A-Country

Growing crops for strangers, of course, is nothing new. The long, grim march of colonialism was driven by Europe’s penchant for sugar, tea, tobacco and other crops that don’t flourish in northern climes. But as climate change and growing populations put ever more pressure on the earth, state-backed searches for land and food contracts as part of a national food-security strategy strike many as fundamentally new.

Indonesia, Binladin group discussing $4bn rice project

The company will conduct a feasibility study of the proposed land area, in the Merauke district of Indonesia’s Papua province, before making their final decision. “We have been looking at other locations that might be suitable but Indonesia is first on our list,” a spokesperson said.