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Indian agro companies eying $2.5bn investment in Africa.

New Delhi, August 25 (ANI): In what could be the largest farming deal struck in Africa, Indian investors are ready to spend 2.5 billion dollars on acquiring cheap farming land in the dark continent.

Indian agribusiness companies are ready to buy or rent, several million hectares of cheap land in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda for the coming years.

A delegation of 35 Indian investors, including food conglomerates McLeod Russel, Kaveri Seeds, and Karuturi Global, has been touring Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda for the last week to seek land to grow palm oil, maize, cotton, rice and vegetables, largely for the burgeoning Indian market, The Telegraph reports.

Karuturi has said that it was ready to spend 500 million dollars on acquiring and developing 200,000 hectares of land for palm oil, 150,000 for cereals and 20,000 for sugarcane.

Investors have said they are ready to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on what is the cheapest land in the world, being offered on decades-long leases for as little as 1.50 dollars per hectare a year.

"There is huge potential for the agriculture sector in east Africa. The region has 120 million hectares of arable land, the same size of arable land India has," Karuturi's managing director, Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi was quoted, as saying.

African governments have largely welcomed the 'foreign investments', saying that they have millions of hectares of surplus land suitable for intensive arable farming. They also say companies guarantee to provide thousands of jobs. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Aug 25, 2011
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