28 September 2012

Ethiopia: Attention to Investment!


The Ministry of Agriculture said that it has transferred 70 thousand hectare tracts of land to both domestic and foreign investors last year.

According to the Ministry, the large swaths of the leased farmlands would be predominantly utilized to cultivate products like cotton, sugarcane, and palm oil, which have higher demand in the global market. Some 79 metric tonnes of cotton was also cultivated on previously leased 118 thousand hectares of land.

It is well recognized that these days, leasing is usually understood as a modern form of financing of various assets, both in the commercial and the private sector. And leases have now become an integral part of economic life. With their multiple creative possibilities and variations, leases are alternatives to buying and renting for companies. The diversity of different forms of leasing, and the fact that there is no uniform lease contract, the aforementioned tracts of land as a reference, results in a meaningful economic progress. In this respect, relevant tax decrees would have positive impact on the local economic scenario.

As cited earlier, the Ministry has planned to transfer more than 100 thousand hectares of land to investors this fiscal year. It has prepared large fertile tracts of land in Gambella, Benshangul-Gumuz, Oromia and Amhara states to be offered for investors. This is really a promising move to help the country generate a great deal of foreign currency and create opportunities for technology transfer. Hence, the government is aggressively working to further encourage investors via setting a range of incentives and help them make their projects operational as per the schedule.

Interestingly, the ministry would persevere to closely evaluate the performance of companies already at work and follow-up the environmental security not to be at the expense of public well being and safe environment.

Indeed, Ethiopia has allocated some 3.6 million hectares of land for firms seeking to invest in agriculture. The nation has also planned to build infrastructure by investing in roads, phone lines and electricity particularly in designated areas to add value thereby to further foster investment in the country.

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