In the past week, the alleged claim by Egypt’s Agriculture minister Amin Abaza that Uganda offered his country over 2 million acres of fertile land to produce wheat to feed the Arab nation’s 81 million people has rattled Ugandans.
President Yoweri Museveni initiated talks with Egyptian officials over the possibility of growing wheat and corn for the north African state in Uganda but no firm offer of land was made, Egypt and State House sources have separately said.
The Uganda government had allocated to Egypt two million acres of land to grow wheat and corn this year, Egypt`s minister of Agriculture revealed. He asserted that the land was in a number of places. Two million acres is equivalent to 2.2% of Uganda`s total area.
Conséquence directe de la crise alimentaire mondiale et de la volatilité des cours, les projets d'achat ou de location de terres agricoles à grande échelle, parfois sur des centaines de milliers d'hectares, se multiplient.
Egypt has agreed to buy a million tonnes of wheat from Kazakhstan to meet local market needs, and Uganda has allocated farmland for the Arab country to grow wheat and corn, Egyptian state-owned media said on Saturday.
"Initially we asked the Africans how much they wanted in rent. They said it's free, just share the food with us. We made a deal that we only pay $1 per year per acre in rent. At the start we didn't promote the idea because we didn't want people to say we were grabbing land."
Liu Jianjun, a former Chinese government official who runs the Baoding-Africa business council, has contracts to farm 10,000 acres in Uganda, to build a cornflour processing factory in Kenya and for a farm project in the Ivory Coast.