[mpisgmedia] IITF / 500 farmers headed for Africa

President's address at IITF inauguration:


would there be anything about the following at IITF?

HT, 15.11.2004

500 farmers headed for Africa

Ashok Das

Hyderabad, November 15

The first batch of 500 farmer entrepreneurs from the
perennially drought-hit areas of Andhra Pradesh will
leave for Africa next June. To do what they know best:
raise crops.
The Andhra Pradesh government and representatives from
Kenya and Uganda signed letters of intent (LoI) last
week. The farmers will raise crops on 70,000 acres of
land, which will be given on a 99-year lease to the
farmers' cooperative society. The farmers would be
free to repatriate their earnings.
The Hindustan Times had earlier reported that there
was a move to ship farmers from these areas to
cultivate land in African countries.
C.C. Reddy, advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government
and brain behind the idea, told HT on Sunday, "We have
signed the LoI with Tana and Kethi River Valley
Authority and Kerio Valley Development Authority in
Kenya for 50,000 acres and with Uganda Investment
Authority for 20,000 acres. The next step is
formalisation of the lease, selection of farmers,
identification of crops to be grown and funding for
the project."
Farmers would be selected on the basis of their crop
raising experience. And, Reddy said, they will not
work as labourers but as landowners.
"The formalities would be completed by March when the
MoU would be signed. We have to complete the whole
process before the crop season starts in these two
countries," Reddy added.
A second team of engineers and crop specialists would
soon leave for the two countries to make detailed
hydrological and crop studies.

Land ho
* The first batch of 500 Andhra Pradesh farmers will
leave in June 2005

* They will cultivate land in Kenya and Uganda

* However, they will not work as farm hands. They will
own the land they till

* They will employ local labourers in both countries

* The farmers will be free to repatriate their

* MoUs will be signed by AP and Uganda and Kenya in

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