South Korea says it has agreed to develop farmland in Tanzania - the latest in a series of such deals between rich and poor nations.
Korean officials say 1,000 sq km (386 sq miles) will be developed - half for local farmers, half to produce processed goods for South Korea.
Seoul also signed a deal last year to lease a vast area of Madagascar.
Rich countries have increasingly sought farmland in poorer nations to help shore up food supplies.
Countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Kuwait are short of arable land and have been seeking agricultural investments in Africa.
But South Korea's deal in Madagascar - which would have seen it lease an area the size of Belgium from the island nation - has been thrown into uncertainty.
Madagascar's government was overthrown in a coup earlier this year and the new leaders said they would scrap the deal, which was cited as one reason for the unrest.
The state-run Korea Rural Community Corporation says a memorandum of understanding will be signed with Tanzania next month.
The corporation says it will produce processed foods like cooking oil, wine and starch on the land.
Lee Ki-Churl, a corporation official, said he expected Tanzanians to benefit from the deal.
"Some African countries export fruit and import fruit juice, or export olives and import olive oil, simply because their past colonialists did not teach them how to process food," he told the AFP news agency.
"We plan to set up an education centre for Tanzanian farmers in the food-processing zone in order to transfer agricultural know-how and irrigation expertise to them."
He said about 100bn won ($83m) would be spent to develop an initial 100 sq km of land over the next few years.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that the corporation hoped to exploit deposits of iron ore, gold and copper in other parts of the Tanzania to help fund its project.
The deal comes weeks after Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda visited Seoul, when the two nations promised closer ties.
In another development:
Madagascar's new leader has cancelled a controversial deal for a South Korean firm to lease a vast tract of land to grow food crops. Andry Rajoelina said he was axing the deal because the people should be consulted. Daewoo Logistics has reportedly expressed its frustration. The plan had helped fuel popular anger against President Marc Ravalomanana, who was forced from office on Tuesday. Mr Rajoelina has also suspended parliament and held a cabinet meeting. The BBC's Christina Corbett in the capital Antananarivo says he is trying to legitimise himself ahead of his inauguration as transitional leader on Saturday. Land rights After annulling parliament, he set up two transitional bodies to run the country.
Madagascar's new leader has cancelled a controversial deal for a South Korean firm to lease a vast tract of land to grow food crops.
Andry Rajoelina said he was axing the deal because the people should be consulted. Daewoo Logistics has reportedly expressed its frustration.
The plan had helped fuel popular anger against President Marc Ravalomanana, who was forced from office on Tuesday.
Mr Rajoelina has also suspended parliament and held a cabinet meeting.
The BBC's Christina Corbett in the capital Antananarivo says he is trying to legitimise himself ahead of his inauguration as transitional leader on Saturday.
After annulling parliament, he set up two transitional bodies to run the country.
There is no word on the whereabouts of Mr Ravalomanana, who resigned on Tuesday when a group within the army backed his rival.
Correspondents say Malagasy people have deep ties to their land and some had condemned the deal as "neo-colonialism".
Widespread protests had already slowed down progress on the deal, which would have used about half of Madagascar's arable land.
The South Korean industrial giant had sought to produce corn and palm oil on 1.3m hectares (3.2m acres), in one of the biggest deals involving foreign firms seeking to secure African farmland since food prices soared last year.
"In the constitution, it is stipulated that Madagascar's land is neither for sale nor for rent, so the agreement with Daewoo is cancelled," Mr Rajoelina told reporters.
"We are not against the idea of working with investors, but if we want to sell or rent out land, we have to change the constitution, you have to consult the people. So at this hour the deal is cancelled."
Daewoo's long-term aim was to replace more than half the corn that South Korea, the world's third-largest corn buyer, imports, mainly from the US and South America.
Expressing frustration, Shin Dong-Hyun, who oversees the deal for Daewoo Logistics, told Yonhap news agency: "Already we have invested not a small amount in Madagascar.
"We are just waiting and watching this situation to see whether to retreat."
That is not done yet:
Thursday, September 24, 2009
S Korea agrees Tanzania land deal, but who losses?
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