Indian based Karuturi Global Ltd., the world’s largest rose grower, sold its firs produce from its plantation in Ethiopia. The company is also going to solicit funding from sovereign wealth fund for further investment in East Africa. Karuturi has produced more that 20,000 metric tons of corn in the last quarter of 2012 that sold for USD 6.5 million in Ethiopia, Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi, Managing Director told Bloomberg. The harvest from its plantation in western Ethiopia, showed the project was “not a disaster” after floods destroyed a 60,000- ton corn crop in September 2011, he said.

The company has already secure loan from unidentified fund and the money will be advanced by the end of April and invested in Ethiopian projects as well as Kenyan flower farms, according to Karuturi.

The project to grow and process crops including cereals, sugar, palm oil and vegetables has “good support” from senior Ethiopian officials, Karuturi said. The leasing of an additional 200,000 hectares to the company is conditional on completion of the current phase, according to the contract.

In Ethiopia, land ownership is exclusively for the government. Since 2009, the Federal government of Ethiopia has leased 416,803 hectares to 34 domestic and foreign investors, data from the ministry’s website shows. The Ethiopian government has identified 3.3 million hectares of land nationwide, an area about the size of Belgium, as suitable for large-scale farming.

Source: Bloomberg

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