Two MIDROC-affiliated companies, largely owned by the Saudi tycoon Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi, are Saudi Star Agricultural Plc and Horizon Plantations Plc. Both offered tens of millions of Birr to acquire state-owned plantations last week.
Al-Amoudi’s Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc, which is primarily growing rice to export to Saudi Arabia, has leased 10,000 hectares in Gambella region and is in the “process of leasing an additional 290,000 hectares”.
The growing insecurity and violence in Gambela, seen in the recent loss of human lives and attacks on government institutions, should be seen as a clear warning to investors about the dangers involved in large scale agricultural investments, says the Anywaa Survival Organisation.
Saudi Star has begun rice cultivation on 10,000ha of land in Gambella and a 10,000ha irrigation project along the already-compromised Alwero River. Only grain that does not meet export requirements will be sold locally.
Gilles van Kote, envoyé spécial du Monde, et Jiro Ose, photographe japonais basé à Addis-Abeba, se sont rendus dans la région de Gambela, à la pointe occidentale de l'Ethiopie, pour enquêter sur le phénomène de location de terres.
Rich soil, a tropical climate, and an abundance of water: the region of Gambela in the west of the country is fertile. Foreign investors are renting thousands of hectares of it to develop intensive agriculture without regard for the environment and the population, reports Le Monde.
A Saudi Arabian company has leased tens of thousands of acres in western Ethiopia to grow rice for export. The Ethiopian government says it will help provide food security for its citizens, but some who live in the region, say they’re not seeing any benefits.