World’s most notorious land grabber pulls out of Ethiopia.
Land must now go back to the Ethiopian farmers.
Land activists around the world celebrated the news of the collapse of one of the world’s biggest land grabs: the Indian company Karuturi Global Ltd’s 300,000 hectare farmland deal in Ethiopia. CEO Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi claimed he would bring food security to the horn of Africa while boasting he would soon join the ranks of the world’s biggest food producers.
“After nearly a decade of land robbery, harassment, imprisonment, forced evictions, misery in refugee camps and injustice, this is a great day for my people,” Ethiopian activist Nyikaw Ochalla exclaimed. “Karuturi’s demand for compensation from the Ethiopian government is an affront. He should be compensating the communities and workers who have suffered from his brutal adventure into our territory!”
Karuturi’s failed investment was emblematic of a new wave of companies taking land from African farmers in the wake of the global 2007-2008 food and financial crisis. Instead of food security or investment, these land grabbers have produced misery and conflict. The only solution is to stop these deals and give the land back to the people.
Karuturi is still trying to hold onto his contested 200 hectare flower farm in Naivasha, Kenya, where workers and families have been driven to hunger strikes over unpaid wages. This must be resolved next — and with urgency.
For more information, see:
- Nizar Manek, “Karuturi demands compensation from Ethiopia for failed land deal”, Bloomberg, 21 September 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-21/karuturi-demands-compensation-from-ethiopia-for-failed-land-deal
- “Indian farm conglomerate closes operations: CEO”, Ethiopia Observer, 20 September 2017, http://www.ethiopiaobserver.com/2017/09/indian-farm-conglomerate-closes-operations/