Nomadic herders, rarely a priority for governments, are being dispossessed by bioethanol developments in Kenya, says Michael Taylor of the International Land Coalition (ILC), and they also depend on the “unused” land that Madagascar offered Daewoo.
Saudi Arabia is in a better position to forge politico-economic partnerships with other countries with a view to achieving food security. The best partner in this respect is Sudan, known as the food basket of the Arab world. But foreigners are reluctant to invest in Sudan and the efforts made by the Sudanese government to overcome this reluctance have not met with much success.
The initial welcome given to rich countries’ investment in African farmland by agricultural and development officials has faded as the first ventures prove to be heavily weighted in favour of the investors. The FAO warned of such a trend when it said this year that the race to secure farmland overseas risked creating a “neo-colonial” system.
South Korea's Daewoo Logistics will plant corn in Madagascar, a company official said on Tuesday, with a long-term aim to replace more than half the corn it currently imports from mostly the United States.
Due to the lack of arable land in its home market, Savola must look abroad for agricultural land and has named Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia and Ukraine as target countries where it plans to buy the land necessary to grow seeds such as sunflower and corn seeds.
This analysis looks at how the oil-rich Muslim economies could leverage their existing relationships with agriculture based Muslim economies (which have a wide productivity gap with the worlds net agriculture exporters) taking them to globally competitive levels; reaping for themselves high investment returns, securing their own food sources, and contributing to alleviation of the food crisis from other Muslim countries.
Recently, Sudan was reported to have leased more than 800,000 hectares of its most fertile land to the Saudis. Several other Gulf countries, including Egypt, are in the process of closing similar deals. It is expected several hundred thousand hectares more will be leased out by the end of this year. The lease tenure is 99 years. At least two generations of Sudanese will have to live with the decisions made by their leader.