Pity that I know absolutely nothing about farming

For this looks like one of he great opportunities of our time.

Ethiopia\’s great land lease project is moved swiftly ahead. In an effort to introduce large-scale commercial farming to the country, the government is offering up vast chunks of fertile farmland to local and foreign investors at almost giveaway rates. By 2013, 3m hectares of idle land is expected to have been allotted – equivalent to more than one fifth of the current land under cultivation in the country.

Leasing out idle land on long (50 year) leases so as to kick start commercial farming in the country.

Very much what Paul Collier would suggest.

Introducing new technology, making money and feeding the poor?

4 thoughts on “Pity that I know absolutely nothing about farming”

  1. But this is simply an invitation to imperialist colonisation and any correct-thinking person must condemn it, surely?

  2. it’s a good idea in theory … Tyler Cowen wrote a post I cannot find about how it might not be so wonderful in practice if corrupt governments simply turf farmers who lack property rights off their land, without proper recompense, and also if the terms of the contract are such that the foreigners extract all the surplus (that is to say, there is a gain from trade, and the participants have to bargain over the allocation of that gain, the foreigners may be able to grab the lot). If there are positive spillovers etc. such worries might be dominated by those, however.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    I am reminded of nothing so much as Lucy in Peanuts. Yeah. *This* *time* the Marxist-Leninist Ethiopian Government will not steal every single profitable asset once foreign money has made it valuable. Promise!

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