Karuturi to plant 20,000 hectares by November
By Elias Gebreselassie
in Capital, Tuesday, 06 September 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Karuturi Global limited company plans to plant 20,000 hectares of land with Sorghum, rice, maize, sunflower and soybeans in Bako area of Oromia regional state and Gambella regional state, by November 2011, according to Ramakrishna Karuturi, Founder and Managing director of Karuturi Global Limited Company.
The land is part of the 100,000 hectares of land leased from the government in 2009; in addition to the existing two flower farms in Holeta of Oromia regional state, employing 3,000 people, producing roses for European market, with the main export market being Germany.
It also has currently two farms in Bako and Gambella areas that process palm oil, sugar, rice and maize, employing 2,000 people. The company plans to have a total base employment of 25,000, a large increase from the current 5,000 workers on its farms.
He further said they are expecting a harvest of maize and rice on 10,000 hectares by September. They are also in the process of planting palm oil on 5,000 hectares of land. In five years the company plans to increase the amount to 20 thousand hectares.
When its production peaks it will make 100,000 tons of palm oil. This will meet the entire demand for palm oil in Ethiopia, which he said currently stands at 90,000 tons of palm oil imported every year.
The company has also planted sugarcane on 15,000 hectares of land in Gambella region. They began this project in December 2010 and hope to eventually increase that to 20,000 hectares, and by June 2010 they hope to make 20,000 tons of sugar.
He added that the company’s principal crop production and exports are palm oil and sugar with its markets being the domestic Ethiopian market and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states.
Karuturi Global Limited Company a Bangalore, India based company engaged in the Agriculture, Floriculture and Food processing sectors started investing in Ethiopia 7 years ago with an initial investment of 5 million USD and 100 hectares of land employing 200 people. Now it employs 5,000 and has invested over 150 million USD.
The company has also put 75 million USD into Kenyan flower farms. It currently has 150 million USD worth of Turnover capital and employs 10,000 people globally.