On a letter written to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Karuturi demanded compensation from the government for a series of failed land deals.

By Nizar Manek (Bloomberg) |

Karuturi Global Ltd., an Indian flower grower, demanded compensation from the Ethiopian government for a series of failed land deals as it prepares to exit the Horn of Africa nation.

The company wrote a letter to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn accusing the state of nationalizing its farming investments and said it should be given “adequate and appropriate” redress. The Sept. 20 letter was emailed to Bloomberg by Karuturi Managing Director Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi.

“We stand tired and defeated and wish to exit Ethiopia,” Karuturi said in the letter, citing a government decision to “unilaterally and illegally cancel our investment and trade license.” The company also asked Hailemariam to allow the company to re-export all its equipment.

Karuturi, based in Bengaluru, India, was one of the first foreign investors to lease land in Ethiopia after the government offered incentives and identified 3.3 million hectares (8.2 million acres) as suitable for commercial farming. The government canceled the lease two years ago after saying the company failed to adequately develop its plot.

The Agriculture Ministry’s land investment agency notified Karuturi in December 2015 that the lease was canceled because development occurred on only 1,200 hectares. Karuturi disputed the state’s findings.

Continue reading this story at Bloomberg
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