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 farms.
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.