Abraaj Capital, the PE firm that was very active in the rush to buy global farmland after the food financial crises of 2008, has collapsed and is under investigation for “mismanagement, comingling of funds and misappropriation of assets"
Critics say that by seeking to solve their food shortage problem through foreign farmland acquisitions, the rich emerging economies may succeed in producing enough quantity for their populations but may in the long-term be exporting their food insecurity to other nations.
Instead of offering incentives on a similar scale to local farmers, Islamabad is offering legal and tax concessions, with legislative cover, to foreign investors in the form of specialised agricultural and livestock 'free zones' and may also introduce legislation to exempt such investors from government-imposed tax bans. The most worrisome aspect of such wheeling-dealing is the government's decision to develop a new security force of 100,000 men spread across the four provinces to ensure stability of the Arab investments.
THESE days, as we follow the struggle against the Taliban in the northwest, we can be forgiven for missing other important news. For instance, I had filed away a report on plans to lease large chunks of agricultural land in Punjab and Sindh to overseas investors in the back of my mind, planning to write about it later. When I ran a Google search on the subject, however, I realised the enormity of the scam.When I ran a Google search
Essentially, the Middle East is left with two choices. “The region has to import. The question is, invest abroad or rely on the free market?” said Dr Eckart Woertz, program manager in economics at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai.