guys, I'm still eager to hear any plausible explanation from you government supporters. Any explanation???? I'm still waiting. And as an Ethiopian, you should be concerned with this huge land grab and should ask your government you support for explanation. This is a serious issue beyond any party affiliation.
If farming is the real reason behind it, why not first encourage Ethiopian businesses to enter into the farming industry? There was virtually no attempt or encouragement from the government side to encourage local businesses to enter into the farming business for the last 20 years. I think agriculture and food self-sufficiency is one of the most neglected issues for the last 20 years. The exception being of course cash crops. How many times have the opposition, IMF, the world bank and the donor community asked the government to change the land policy just to encourage the business community to have access to farming land? And all their request were met by fierce resistance by the government. So I don't think farming alone can explain the reason behind such huge land grab policy. There must be something else.
siren66 and Halafi,
You both raised one interesting aspect i.e. by implementing this huge land grab, the government may feel more secure to involve many more countries that will have a stake in Ethiopia and are willing to support the government just to protect their interests. It is indeed an interesting idea but you have to widen your idea and give me also some possible scenarios in which this kind of calculation may actually work. What can Indians do to protect the government in the face of an internal revolt or a coup for example? Give me some examples please.
though siren66 dismissed it, the money part, which you raised may be one of the most driving force behind the land grab. It may also be that Meles & Co. have stokes and shares in these companies outside Ethiopia, which may explain the almost non existent very cheap price and the very law tax. If Meles & Co. have stokes and shares in these companies outside of Ethiopia, it will be also a safe income generator even if they live outside of Ethiopia in the future. But it is still a speculation and must be backed up by some facts.