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Sat 6 Dec 2014 09:02 AM

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Saudi billionaire's firm to invest $100m in African rice farm

Saudi Star Agricultural Development, owned by Mohamed al-Amoudi, to invest in western Ethiopian farm

Saudi billionaire's firm to invest $100m in African rice farm
Saudi billionaire Mohamed al-Amoudi.

Saudi Star Agricultural Development, owned by Saudi billionaire Mohamed al-Amoudi, has announced plans to invest $100 million in a rice farm in western Ethiopia next year.

CEO Jemal Ahmed told Bloombeg that after delays caused by unsuitable irrigation design and contractor performance issues, Saudi Star wants to accelerate work on the project which spans 10,000 hectares.

“We have a very aggressive plan,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Saudi Star’s $100 million investment will focus primarily on building irrigation infrastructure, as well as a rice de-husking plant, storage silos and land clearing, Jemal was quoted as saying.

The project is part of a government plan to establish commercial farms on 3.3 million hectares of fertile land in sparsely populated parts of the country.

Al-Amoudi, born in Ethiopia to an Ethiopian mother and Saudi father, is one of the country’s largest foreign investors and operates its biggest cement factory and only large-scale gold mine.

In September, it was reported that Horizon Plantations Ethiopia, owned by al-Amoudi, plans to invest at least $500 million in coffee and orange projects.

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Chris 5 years ago

One can only wonder who will lose water rights in this dry part of the world, to allow one of the wealthy to become even wealthier!