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Farm Radio Weekly

Kenya: Qatar to grow food on Kenyan soil (Daily Nation, Gulf Times)

The fertile lands of Kenya’s Tana River delta are the focus of another controversial land deal. Last year, the Kenyan government supported plans to establish a 20,000-hectare sugar plantation on the delta. Now there are reports that the government of Qatar will lease 40,000 hectares of delta land to grow fruit and vegetables.

Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki visited Qatar in November of 2008. The two countries reportedly struck a deal whereby Qatar would obtain access to land in exchange for funds to build a new port on Lamu Island, off the Kenyan coast.

These reports come at a time when Kenya faces food shortages, with the price of maize flour doubling over the last year. Just weeks ago, the government placed newspaper ads inviting proposals for the import of one million bags of yellow maize.

Philip Kirio is president of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation Union. He questioned why a foreign government should be allowed to grow food in Kenya when the country cannot feed its own people.

The reported deal between Kenya and Qatar is the latest is a string of land deals between developing countries and rich corporations or governments that is raising international concern.

-See the FRW story on the proposed sugarcane project in Tana Delta: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/07/14/1-kenya-herders-oppose-controversial-sugarcane-project-the-nation-various-other-sources/
-See the FRW story on Ethiopia’s plans to lease land to Saudi Arabia:
http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/12/22/1-ethiopia-hundreds-of-thousands-of-hectares-of-land-available-for-foreign-investment-prime-minister-says-inter-press-service-arab-news-the-guardian-reuters-new-scientist/

6 Responses to “Kenya: Qatar to grow food on Kenyan soil (Daily Nation, Gulf Times)”

  1. …My heart’s in Accra » links for 2009-01-16 Says:

    […] Farm Radio Weekly Farm Radio Weekly Archive Kenya: Qatar to grow food on Kenyan soil (Daily Nation, … Qatar is leasing land from Kenya to grow fruits and vegetables, paying Kenya with funds to support port construction. Echoes Saudi Arabia leasing farmland from Ethiopia. Fascinating and complex dynamics here – is this good news or bad for poor, agrarian countries? (tags: kenya ethiopia qatar saudiarabia farming agriculture commerce globalization investment africa) […]

  2. Farm Radio Weekly » Farm Radio Weekly Archive » Africa: Angola land deal announced; Madagascar land deal on hold (Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph) Says:

    […] read the FRW story on Kenya’s plans to lease land to Qatar, visit: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/01/12/kenya-qatar-to-grow-food-on-kenyan-soil-daily-nation-… -For the FRW story on Ethiopia’s plans to lease land to Saudi Arabia, go to: […]

  3. geoffrey Says:

    YOU mean the QATAR DEAL?
    its very unfortunate and bad news for residents of these poor african countries which have been and are being eyed by the west to feed their rich countries in exchange of finsancial grants. the Qatar deal news were truely unexpected noting that many people are squoters, others are spending in IDP camps, many sleeping hungry and few(politicians)enjoying themeselves in prestigious hotels where such deals are conceled and signed in total desregard of the local communities. its very deheartening? what your feel?

  4. Farm Radio Weekly » Farm Radio Weekly Archive Says:

    […] geoffrey – YOU mean the QATAR DEAL? its very… […]

  5. Wanjiku Says:

    It smirks of irony and wizadry wrapped up into one. right now, Kenya cant feed itself. the government has launched an internation appeal for food. Agricultural production in Kenya has been declining in relation to its growing population. Why cant Kenya use that land to grow food for internal consumption? What is the value of a port when the people who would use it for trade are dead or dying? is money more important than human life?
    Give me a break

  6. Farm Radio Weekly » Farm Radio Weekly Archive Says:

    […] Wanjiku – It smirks of irony and wizadry… […]

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