Romanian investor owns 130,000 hectares in Africa
Romanian investor Ovidiu Tender is the only investor in Eastern Europe that owns land outside the European Union, according to a recent study of the European Commission cited by local Economica.net.
The EC report shows the effects of Europeans grabbing land in non-EU countries.
Tender has been leasing a plot of 30,000 hectares in Gambia and a plot of 100,000 hectares in Senegal starting 2011. Both plots are unused, with agricultural or biofuel generation projects still at early stages.
He said four years ago that he wanted to use his plots in Senegal and Gambia to cultivate Jatropha, a shrub whose seeds can generate oil through processing.
“I want exploitations of this type in other countries such as Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry,” Tender said at that time.
“I plan to exploit one million hectares of agricultural land with this technical plant over a 10-year period. I estimate an investment of EUR 400-500 million only for Jatropha.”
According to the EC report, 182 companies in the European Union own over 5.8 million hectares of land outside the EU. Most investors come from the UK (60), the Netherlands (18), Italy (17), and France (17). The states where they have leased or bought plots include Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Indonesia, the Philippines, Namibia, and Malawi.
Last year, the Bucharest Court of Appeal sentenced Ovidiu Tender for 12 years in prison in the case of the Rafo-Carom privatization.