Ethiopian born Saudi oil tycoon Sheikh Mohammed
Hussein Ali al Amoudi had reached an agreement with the Ethiopian government to
acquire 110,000 hectares of prime farmlands.
One of Amoudi's subsidiary companies Saudi Star
Agriculture Development p.l.c. will produce rice, what and sugar beets in Gambella,
Benishangul, Amhara and Oromiya regions of Ethiopia.
Amharic business reporters Henok Fente
interviewed former agriculture minister Haile Asegede about details of creating
one of Ethiopia's largest agricultural operations. Al Amoudi, a longtime supporter of the
Ethiopian government and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is one of several foreign
investors seeking to take advantage of the federal government's interest in
leasing sizable pieces of farmland to foreigners willing to build corporate
In today's agriculture report, Surafel Fantaye, interviewed
Ethiopia's agriculture and rural development minister, Dr. Abera Disasa, on the
new foreign farmer policy. Abera said
Ethiopia's fertile lands need the capital and technology of global investors and
assured listeners that individuals displaced by these new corporate farms were
fairly compensated in their relocation.