Thursday, December 31, 2009


Food deficit countries, in their quest for satisfying the hunger needs of their population, are looking out for accessing land out side their borders for raising food crops instead of imports as the global food supply and stable prices are increasingly being threatened due to many reasons. Initially countries like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations were involved in such land deals which have come under criticism from many quarters because of lop sided lease agreements which threaten the food security of the in the lessee countries. India is also reported to be eying such a route, especially to augment its edible oil supply as serious shortages are being experienced during the last two decades.

"Indian businessman Ramakrishna Karuturi, managing Director of Karuturi Global Ltd, one of the world's top agribusiness transnational corporations, has acquired nearly 765,000 hectares of land in Ethiopia. His company is involved in flower and food production.
Karuturi told Radio France International (RFI) that the world should applaud instead of vilifying efforts by people like him "When you look at the last ten years of world food production vis-à-vis consumption, I think over six of those ten years, we in the world have eaten more than we produced, and world food stocks are at a debilitating low 67-day stock. 67 days of food is disastrous and I don't think in the history of mankind, the world has ever come this close."

The major difference in the approach of the Indian entrepreneur in the above case is that he is not doing this for the country of his origin but only developing the business for his personal benefits and probably will sell his produce to the highest bidder. Of course platitudes are inevitable to justify such deals, especially when the land involved is in Ethiopia, one of the most impoverished countries in the World.


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