JEF Plenary Session VI – Agriculture and Food Security

 

Mr. Turki Faisal Al Rasheed
Chairman
Golden Grass Inc.

Turki Faisal Al Rasheed, Chairman of Golden Grass Inc., pointed out that food security is the political aspect of agricultural development which is in turn one of the most effective tools to alleviate poverty.

The World Bank now gives less credits to agriculture and has less specialized staff for agriculture than in the past. “The world and the World Bank have forgotten how important agriculture is,” Mr. Turki said. Agriculture is now operating at full capacity, while other parts of the world economy operate at only 60 percent capacity, this could develop into an issue.

He hinted that agricultural investments abroad can be tricky and stated that he has been a “failed investor” in Sudan since 1982 and in Egypt since 1992. Land ownership in Sudan is difficult, he said, while Egypt has taxed developed land as such, without taking into consideration the costs of developing it and taxing it as undeveloped land as initially promised.

Saudi Arabia should own the land together with a private partner in Sudan or Egypt as this would give the local partner a stake in the project and provide it some protection against arbitrariness.


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