Heavy machinery stand idle for lack of spare parts and local protests at the Karuturi Farm in Ethiopia (image: Célia Pernot).

Allright; I admit it: I`m putting this blog online back in Europe after returning from Ethiopia, since internet connections over there were terrible. Still, the country is developing itself really fast, largely unnoticed by western media. 

Chinese and Koreans are constructing roads, Dutch are producing flowers, Indians and Saoudi`s are leasing ridiculously huge areas of land in the jungle for ridiculously low prices, in order to develop them for rice and corn plantations. Is this in the benefit of Ethiopia? One can certainly doubt this, especially since most of the produce seems to be planned for export…

Here`s a picture of the Karuturi farm under development near Bako, roughly 250 kilometres west of the capital Addis Ababa. Development is not proceeding as planned: machines have broken down, spare parts are missing, the rainy season makes the land tough to work on and, most importantly, local farmers oppose the plan and block the land. Where is this leading to….?

Jeroen Kuiper

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