Investors of State of Qatar have expressed their interest for making investments in agriculture and fisheries sectors in coastal areas of Balochistan, and they will soon set up their industrial, agricultural and trade units in the coastal areas of the province.
With vast tracts of land being sold in Madagascar, and Sudan and other African governments actively seeking investors in agricultural land, are we witnessing a neo-colonial land grab or will the investment result in greater food productivity to the long-term benefit of recipient nations?
While I am all for infrastructure projects, the way these large-scale agriculture projects are being conceived leaves a lot to be desired. One, they are shrouded in secrecy. Two, this being Kenya, it is not clear who will benefit most.
Qatar could invest in Sri Lanks’s agricultural sector, Ambassador Vijayasiri Padukkag pointed out. In the Eastern province, he said, there was plenty of vacant arable land where farms can be established.
Qatar and Malaysia have agreed to look at the possibility of investing in Islamic countries, particularly in growing food. Malaysian Foreign Minister Dr Rais Yatim told Gulf Times that certain states in his country did have land for joint cultivation but “what we are encouraging is for the two countries to go, for example, to Indonesia, or to another (Muslim) country”.
The Lands ministry has denied any knowledge of an arrangement between Kenya and Qatar to lease 40,000 hectares of its prime farm land to the Arabian country to grow food while over 10 million households face starvation.