To break the runaway inflation that is fuelled by high food costs, Gulf rulers have a new strategy: they are buying unused agricultural land in poor countries like Pakistan, Thailand and Sudan, and becoming large-scale farmers.
Gulf oil producers need to set up agricultural projects in fertile Arab countries to achieve self-sufficiency and to bridge a massive farm deficit that exceeded $12 billion (Dh44bn) in 2006, a Gulf group said yesterday.
The Jordanian Prime Minister Nader Dahabi said his country will cultivate lands allocated for his country in Sudan as part of his government strategy to deal with rising prces of food items on the international market.
Dubai-based Abraaj Capital, one of the Middle East’s largest private equity companies, has been quietly buying farmland in Pakistan as part of plans by the United Arab Emirates to increase food security and to damp inflation.
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.