Posted on September 1, 2009
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Economy & Development, Environment, Food, Foreign Relations
Total Views: 50967

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74 responses to “Is Leasing Agricultural Land to Foreign Countries A Good Idea?”

  1. Abdul bari says:

    I think it is a terrible idea. I also wonder who would actually want to buy land in today’s Pakistan.

  2. Riaz Haq says:

    The train is leaving the station. What should be done, if the leasing of Pakistan’s fertile farm land to foreigners is fait accompli? Can we stop it? I doubt it. So what’s the next best thing?

    What I am proposing on my blog is as follows: “Pakistan faces potentially severe food and water shortages in satisfying the needs of its growing population. Significant investments are urgently required to avert potential famines and droughts. The best course of action now is to try and pressurize Pakistan’s leadership and negotiating team to proceed cautiously and craft the best possible terms for a few pilot deals they can to ensure Pakistanis’ food security and looking after Pakistan’s best long term interests, while offering reasonably attractive returns to investors.”

    Read more at: controversey.html

  3. ANON says:

    Good article, but remember if the land is idle and no body has developed it for irrigation, then in such a case who so ever makes it productive must be given a chance to do so.

    Ideal situation is that all land in Pakistan must be irrigated no matter what, and if its owners are not cultivating their land, it must be surrendered to those who are willing to grow crops on it.

  4. Riaz Haq says:

    You are correctly pointing out the potential issues with the rich buying out farmland and staking claim on the produce in poor nations. Just think of the current situation with oil and you can visualize the dangers. However, if done as a crop-sharing deal with short-term leases as you suggest, rather than land sale, farm investments and expertise can help the farmers in South Asia, Africa, East Europe and Latin America become much more productive and acquire wealth in the process.

    And they can feed their countrymen better as well. I believe it can be done without compromising national sovereignty or taking away food from the poor by the rich.

    But the world food and energy crises clearly present opportunities for investors to invest in countries such as Pakistan with plenty of fertile farmland but very low farm productivity. By bringing the farm expertise and enhancing crop yields, agribusiness companies such as Archer-Daniel, Cargill, Bunge, Dow and Monsanto and their international competitors have tremendous opportunities in South Asia. So do companies like Caterpillar, John Deere, Kubota, Hyundai, Mahindra and others in the farm machinery and construction business. While many South Asians may be concerned about the negative impact of big agribusiness on the society and the environment, the over-riding need for efficiency to feed the growing population and international export opportunities will likely trump these concerns.