Some of India's top vegetable oil firms plan to lease or buy land in Paraguay, Uruguay and Myanmar to grow oilseeds and lentils as farmland shrinks in the South Asian nation, a top trade official said yesterday.
Contributing their bit to the global Indian takeover, the government and India Inc plan to buy sizeable land abroad for cultivation. Seen as a long-term answer to keep prices of farm products under control, the grand plan envisages acquisition of large tracts of land in neighbouring countries like Myanmar and far off places like Paraguay.
Three new investment funds controlled by prominent Gulf investors will sink at least US$2.8 billion (Dh10.3 bn) into infrastructure, agriculture and hospitality projects in the Middle East and South Asia.
Al Qudra Holding, the Abu Dhabi-based investment company, plans to acquire roughly 400,000 hectares of land in the Middle East, East Africa and Far East by the end of the first quarter of next year in a major expansion of its agricultural operations.
Sudan is seeking to attract at least $1bn of capital for its agricultural sector from Arab and Asian investment groups, which are turning to Africa in search of new food supplies as their governments try to manage the impact of commodity price inflation.
The UAE and its food-importing neighbours are “particularly vulnerable” to spiralling costs and should make significant investments in “contract farming” in Africa and Asia, says the UN’s Gulf food chief, Dr Kayan Jaff.
The Saudi government announced that it would co-ordinate with local private-sector companies and invest in strategic agricultural interests in key producer countries such as Brazil, Ukraine, Thailand and India, guaranteeing for itself supplies of cereals, meat and vegetables. It is already in advanced negotiations with Thai investors and a deal on rice farms in Thailand is likely before the end of the year.
The Solvent Extraction Association, currently visiting South America, will come up with a techno-feasibility report on carrying out contract farming by Indian companies either in Argentina, Paraguay or Uruguay.