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Indian agribusiness devastates western Ethiopia – UPDATE

The photo below is incorrectly reported as showing destroyed trees in Ethiopia. However, the report about trees being cut in a massive scale to clear lands for flower farm is correct. Not only trees, according a VOA report yesterday, close to a million people are being uprooted from their land in 4 regions of Ethiopia. Their land is being leased by the ruling party Woyanne to foreign corporations. Listen here:

Nov. 23, 2010

The Meles ethnic apartheid regime has given a land in western Ethiopia that is the size of the State of Rhodes Island (765,000 hectares) to an Indian corporation named Karuturi Global. Thousands of Ethiopians who used to live and earn their living on the land have been displaced, and a few of them are hired by Karturi at meager salaries.

The photo below shows how the forest in south western Ethiopia is being destroyed to make space for flower farming for export to Europe. When asked about the impact of clearing trees to grow flowers in such a massive scale, Woyanne minister of agriculture Abera Deressa said: We in the Ministry of Agriculture are developing an environmental code of practice for the private sector… We are advising them not to cut trees, they have to manage soil erosion.”

deforestation in Ethiopia

Obviously the stupid minister doesn’t know what he is talking about. Trees are being cleared as shows above and the impact on the environment, as well as the people in the region, is incalculable. Every independent study also indicates that after a few years of growing flower, the land will be useless.

The following is a report by the VOA

22 thoughts on “Indian agribusiness devastates western Ethiopia – UPDATE

  1. yet the blood sucking magot TPLFites tell us that Zenawi is the representative of Africa for Global Warming How sad to see this in My life time OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH God.

  2. This is something which is unbelievable and TPLF gangs are destroying our country once and for all. I still don’t know how zenawi will be judged for all these crimes.

  3. I had worked and lived for 4 years in that part of the country in the 60’s. One of our most favorite hobbies was trekking in the forests of the surrounding wilderness. The forest was so thick at its canopies that it was almost dark at the ground level. Wild coffee trees, corianders and so many very fragrant fauna was the most beautiful site in that forest. Such forest range began from nearby Jimma all the way to Wellega. The Haile Selassie regime had a sound protection policy in place which was respected by the inhabitants. When I see the picture above I started struggling to hold back my tears of anger. It is irreversible harm they are inflicting on this nature’s gem that has been around for millions of years. Reforestation is in full speed up north and deforestation is in full swing in the south. I hope and pray that they will come to their senses very soon.

  4. This is really GRAVE mistake the government is doing. I felt bad really! BALTATA BOTA …. BELELE CHAKA …. Yichim chaka huna esanim enatfat…?!

    We have such a big and rich country with diverse climate and landmass. We have vast/ extensive dry, but very fertile, lands in AFAR with about five major rivers that could have been potentially used.

    Gin, yemiserabet gar titen yemayiserabet gar….bicha, yasazinal! Yihe man alebigninet meche endemiyakom enja…?!!!

  5. India is another basket case. The maost are having ground in their rural gorilla attack. Soon or later it has to it has to find solution to intrnal problem. India can not survive being America’s secertary or office boy. There is the pakisan and afgan case on the north. This country is in full social contradiction. Their population is growing in billions. They can not be like china. China is a distenation for amirica’s industries. China has tangeable industrial products to offer. India has only service. Service can not feed the population.

  6. This is sad and good. Sad that the people are being kicked off their land. But good that they are introducing more modern technology, and more productive way of farming. I just hope that they get out of there once their time is up.

  7. Listen to the managing director in this video:

    He is trying to fill the shortage food created in Asia and Latin America by grabbing cheap agricultural land from Ethiopia. Ethiopian politicians please think of your kids and save the fertile land for the next this too:

  8. I never been in that area, but as an Ethiopian seeing these photos left me shaken, jaw dropping shock, dishearten, disappointed, angry, frustrated, and helpless. Ethiopians need to send a message to the corporation that is dismantling our natural habitat, that Ethiopians will work hard to have the flowers to be banned around the world as “Poisonous Flowers” Our struggle should start now, and let the world know what these corporation are doing to our precious land!

  9. I felt like the people they gave comments on this did not have much knowledge what is going on in the world. please make sure you got you facts before you write something that does not make sense.

  10. well, what can say? corruption, meles and this blood sacking filthy indians can go hand to hand. Lets wait and see what would happen at the end. If I had a power I would have been in there by now to put that ugly filthy indian to his grave with meles. We are a christian country and last hope is god. Hope he will destroy this big giant devil meles out of the country and the local people will as they wished.

    what is the purpose of this? How money people in ethiopia eat rice compared to engera. what ever this filthy indians makes money out of this will never go to the local people who needs it most. His agenda is all about feeding of his people what ever numbers may be trillion people of india and chaina.

    This people are not good for ethiopia. They tooo greedy to understand what ethiopia need. I am totaly amaised by the ethiopian govrnement dicision.

  11. This is unsustainable b/c Meles is reaping corrupt economic benefits at the expense of ecological integrity and social well-being. I can’t even see the economic benefit to the majority b/c all the money is going to Meles’s and his allies’ pockets. The self-centered and short-sighted government of Ethiopia did not see that those vast lands, which they thought are key economic drivers, will soon be less productive and remain idle once Karuturi and the likes are done with their egocentric business agenda. Excessive external inputs like chemical fertilizers are devastating the land. It is absolutely impossible to expect that those agri-businesses will use natural fertilizers to protect our land. It is not only the land which is going to die but all our rivers and lakes will soon be spoiled and filled with the fertilizers as the rain carries away the chemical fertilizer and dumps it into the water system, which the majority of rural people depend on for survival. I can’t finish describing the extent of the damage this whole thing is causing. I was recently in Ethiopia and have seen how local people are struggling to plant trees to fight the adverse effects of climate change. Yet forests are being cleared on the other end of the country to provide land for foreign investors who plough our lands irresponsibly to feed their own country and make profits out of it. I wonder what the reaction of the forestry dept of Ethiopia is on this regard. Obviously, it won’t make any difference as that one is already in the hands of the Meles regime. What I can say to those of us who are angered by this injustice is prayer is the key and let us seek God face to get a hold of fair justice.

  12. Pleas stope Barking. This is not Ethiopian agenda to answer for all your barking . You are very busy to destroye yur peopls, as a people. We Ethiopian we donot need Shabias advise what todo or otherwisw.

    Long Live Ethiopia
    Down Shabia and its clickes

  13. Haile Gebreselassie: Politics and Retirement

    By Eskinder Nega

    Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, in yellow, runs with the men’s leaders during the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010, in New York. Gebrselassie dropped out at the 16-mile mark with an injury to his right knee (AP) The first time Haile Gebreselassie burst onto the world-title scene was seventeen years ago, somewhere in mid-’93. Success landed him in the spotlight, and commentators were soon noting what they said (alluding to other Ethiopian athletes as well) was a discrepancy between how old he looked and his officially declared age — twenty years. Haile’s response at this stage, when he hardly spoke a word of English, was to simply flash his infectiously winning smile at his detractors. No one yet suspected that in the delicate and diminutive physical bearing of Haile lurked an extraordinary persona that will go on to attain the peak heights of the world’s greatest athletes.
    He endured on the world stage for an unprecedented decade and a half; winning Olympic medals and setting a bunch of world records in events spanning from 1500 meters to his personal favorites, the 5000 and 10,000 meters; and to cap it all, in what was supposed to have been the twilight of his career, in that ultimate barometer of stamina, the marathon — for which he still holds the world record time of 2:03:59. (He is the only person on record to have breached the 2:04 barrier.)

    The transformation of his personality is no less spectacular. He is effortlessly telegenic. He has always been at perfect ease, with absolutely no trace of self-consciousness, even when multitudes of cameras are focused on him. His quick mastery of the essentials of the English language is testament to his keen intelligence. His symmetry with journalists is the stuff of legends. He does not merely respond to their queries, he converses with them as he would with his long-time friends. His unforced sense of intimacy was also to win millions of hearts around the world. Even his fierce competitors, the Kenyans, could hardly resist his charms.
    His transition from rural Ethiopia to the fast-track world of international superstars was perfectly seamless. There was no philandering before finally settling down; no burn-outs from excessive partying; no spend free phases from the avalanche of earnings. He wed his sweetheart early in his success, and went on to shrewdly invest his earnings in extensive business interests — which now include a car dealership (an increasingly lucrative sector); a cinema (which shows only Ethiopian films); real estate (whose value has tripled); and a widely acclaimed resort (where Birtukan Mideksa, an opposition leader who had spent most of the past five years behind bars, and whose release he helped secure, was his VIP guest along with her daughter and mother.)

    Haile seemed incapable of doing wrong. But despite an acclaimed moderation in taste and life-style, his ambition was expanding in private. That was to become all too evident when out-of- the blue, and to the particular surprise of Ethiopians, who know him best, he announced his ambition to ascend to the nation’s Presidency. This was not a humble call to serve in the public arena, which would not have surprised anyone, but a sudden and unexplained reach to an exalted position, which surprised everyone.

    How and why did this transformation take place?

    Perhaps, only Haile could answer this question with certainty. What is obvious, though, is the changed tempo with which his feeler in to politics was received in Ethiopia. While his sensational claim was to receive reasonable play in the international press, it was noted for its oddity by Ethiopians, and then offhandedly dismissed and ignored. Neither opposition groups nor the ruling party expressed serious interest. Meles shrugged it off: “It’s his right,” he said, and moved on.

    No doubt this was not the reaction Haile was expecting. By the time he uttered those words, he had long become unused to being ignored. But evidently, the world saw in him no more than an inspiring athlete. He, on the other hand, had taken himself far more seriously and wanted the world to acknowledge him for that. This was palpably turning into an uphill battle. And Haile, living embodiment that he is of the triumph of the mind over body, is barely a quitter. After all, only a patient man could conquer the marathon.

    By September 2010 Ethiopia’s politics has seemingly (which is really illusory, by the way) irretrievably turned in favor of the ruling party, the EPRDF. Thus it was more than sheer coincidence that Haile should choose this time to appear at a nationally broadcast Congress of the EPRDF (convention, in the American parlance) and express his sympathies (but circumspectly not explicit support, since this would complicate his ambition. The law stipulates that the President must be a non-party member.)

    Haile’s calculation is only too plain. With the obvious implosion of the opposition, the only plausible way to the Presidency, at least in the short run, seems to be through the EPRDF. And apparently, the way to the EPRDF lies through Meles Zenawi. All this is clear within the standard perceptive powers of the average Ethiopian.

    And if Haile had maneuvered with an acceptable parameter to fulfill his ambition, he would have been tolerated by the public. But in the court of public opinion, he recklessly — and uncharacteristically — strayed too far when he in effect publicly submitted to the unpopular Meles Zenawi by giving him a highly prized personal gift in the full glare of national television. The nation watched with total shock.(The horrific death of hundreds of unarmed protesters from shots to the head and heart by government sharpshooters is still fresh in the public’s mind.)

    A week later, one of Addis’ weeklies, Feteh, queried him about the gift.

    “You have awarded PM Meles Zenawi a T-shirt in which you set a world record. Which of his feats earned him this honor?” asked Feteh.

    His response was defensive and muddled.

    “He (Meles) deserves it. He deserves it for the (achievements) I see. I have given my T–shirts and shorts to other people, too. I must have been waiting for this moment not to have done it to date. If we do not honor our fellow citizens, who will pay tribute to them for us? Let me tell you one thing; we may say many things about the PM in our country, but he is respected like a champion athlete abroad. At G-8 and G-20 meetings, he is bestowed with great respect. Besides, the Bible instructs us to obey our kings,” said Haile of Meles Zenawi, whose party swept 99.6 % of parliamentary seats in an election “that did not meet international standards,” according to European Union election observers.

    The fierce public backlash was more than Haile had ever expected in his wildest imagination (as he was to later confess to some people.) And he was suddenly confronted with a new phenomenon: the swift fall from public grace. And he did not know how to handle it. He was embarrassed as well as confused. This is the beleaguered Haile Gebreselassie that limped out of the New York Marathon and emotionally declared his retirement to a shocked world.

    Haile is ailing. There is the MRI that shows fluid and tendints in his knee joints. No one is disputing that much. It is, however, in the words of the BBC, “the-spur-of-the-moment” announcement of retirement that has baffled the world. Only last month, he spoke passionately against retiring in an interview with AP. “Why should I retire? Why should I say I will retire in three four years? I still think about doing more,” had said Haile.

    When he changed his mind, he gave no time to ponder, to consult with family, friends and business associates — it was a spur of the moment decision. So unlike the old moderate Haile. So like the new controversially Meles-admiring Haile.

    Haile did not only suffer from physical ailment in New York. Unseen to the world, but visible to those close to him, he is also ailing emotionally.This explains the erratic decision that has become the subject of the international press. The path to his physical recuperation — if it is indeed possible — is intractably tied to his emotional well-being.

    But for his emotional redemption, he must first be convinced that nothing is worth his good conscience — yes, even the Presidency !

  14. These foreign companies play games against the will of the Ethiopian people. To tell you the truth Ethiopia now is in the hand of force and gun. Ethiopia is the most proudest people I know but now they are in the hand of the most cruel Government ever in my life. The Ethiopian people live every day with evil government who do not care about their country. Every government employee including the prime minister are so corrupt and so rich, they do not really care if they sell off all of Ethiopia! Every government officials has a lots of money outside the country and if some thing happens they are all out in a second to those new colonial countries.

    Believe me, if Ethiopia has a government who loves their people and country all what you hear and see will never happen. What you see and hear now with force, force, force, gun, gun, gun. That is it!

    Believe me, in the near future Ethiopia will be like the people of Madagascar to drive out all these foreign companies out of Ethiopia in a second. I think these foreign companies do not know the Ethiopian people well. The so called “Lease” will not work to the people of Ethiopia at all. When they get a chance of Democracy, all foreign companies will leave the country with lease or not.

    I am deeply saddened when I see these new colonialists doing bad to this beautiful country and people. I think you know the the history of Ethiopia, they are so protective to their beloved country. I will tell to those foreign companies, you better leave now with out any wait. What you are doing to the people of Ethiopia is not the right thing to do at this time Better you do business with real government! Do you think the people of Ethiopia like the government of Ethiopia?? Not at all. The most hated government in Ethiopia right NOW by all people!!

    I do not understand Why the world is quite for 19 years! to the people of Ethiopia!

    Bull sheet people say like this:-
    “These factories are employing thousands of locals. They are introducing modern agricultural technologies instead of those medieval ways the majority of farmers are using today.

    These investments will also bring a much needed foreign currency.

    Besides, NO ONE can own land in Ethiopia, not even Ethiopians, all land is government controlled. These contracts are LEASED, so it’s not given away like some people seem to believe. This might be different in other African countries.” Bull sheet!

    To the people of Ethiopia you can not say these words!

    Thank You for the story! Keep up the good work since no press right in Ethiopia!

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