Globalisation has taken yet another twist with some Middle Eastern countries deciding to grow their crops in other countries.
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.
Recent attempts by Persian Gulf countries to invest in farmlands abroad to counter soaring inflation and guarantee long-term food security could prove to be a win-win situation in the short term for both the oil-rich region and its investment-hungry neighbors, but continued high oil prices may neutralize the gains in the long-run, say experts.
- Inter Press Service
20 Jun 2008
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.
- Economist Intelligence Unit
18 Jun 2008
La société de développement agricole du Maroc (Sodea) et la Société de gestion des terres agricoles (Sogeta) viennent d’achever la deuxième phase de présélection des candidats pour l’exploitation sous forme de partenariat public-privé de 38?731 ha de terres agricoles, dont 5?800 ha sont déjà plantés.
Même le groupe émirati Al Qudra (plutôt spécialisé dans l’immobilier) a soumissionné pour une exploitation dans la région d’El Hajeb.
- TelQuel Magazine
13 Jun 2008
As food crisis worsens, some nations are desperate for arable land
- US News and World Report
12 Jun 2008
The Government is considering the purchase of farmland worth US$500 million (Dh1.8 billion) in Pakistan as part of a strategy to lower food import costs.
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.
- Economic Times
02 Jun 2008
“Buying farms is not a bad thing,” Panos Konandreas, acting director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Geneva, said in a telephone interview. “If you are like Saudi Arabia and have all the resources in the world, you can help farms optimize their strategies and there will be more production.”
Talks aimed at acquiring large agricultural plots of land in Pakistan were not expected to yield results any time soon, a senior Pakistani government official has said.
UAE wants to boost investment in Egypt’s agricultural sector in the light of the current rise in prices of commodities worldwide.
- Emirates Business 24/7
13 May 2008