"A key obstacle to more transparent debate and informed decisions by governments and investors [involved in global land transactions] is the lack of science-based information," writes Surendra Shah in Nature magazine
Two years ago, the Sarhad Chamber of Agriculture, NWFP, Pakistan was contacted by investors from the Gulf states through a letter showing interest in acquiring farmlands on lease under the corporate farming being introduced by the government.
An ambitious project pooling New Zealand's farming expertise has received a fillip from Emirates Investment Group. Through EIG, there are two large Pakistan projects on the cards, one involving a 35,000ha farm.
Pakistan will press ahead with plans to lease or sell farmland to foreign investors despite United Nations concern over such deals, arguing the land would otherwise lie fallow, Pakistan's foreign minister said.