The secret sale of a country

The Times | 02 July 2011

By Tristan McConnell, report from Juba

Foreign companie, governments and individuals investing in agriculture, biofuels and forestry have signed at least 2,6 million hectares, an area larger than Wales, in the most fertile parts of the country.

Two of the biggest and most controversial deals involve US firms. According to document seen by The Times, Texas-based Nile Trading and Development paid just £17,000 for a 49-year lease of 600 000 hectares with an option to increase to 1 million hectares. New York's Jarch Management has entered into a joint venture with a local company, Leac for Agriculture and Investment, run by the son of a notorious warlord turned deputy army commander, Paulito Matip, to develop up to 800 000 ha in oil-rich Unity State.

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Source: The Times

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