Qatar buys farmland in Australia

by Morton Sosland
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LONDON — Qatar, a sovereign Arab state on the Arabian Peninsula, has committed to spending half a billion Australian dollars on acquiring farmland in Australia to supply grain and other food to its people.

This was disclosed in a report by the International Grains Council.

In an announcement made last month, Qatar said the state-owned Hassad, an entity engaged in agribusiness, has committed the equivalent of $484 million to buying 186,000 hectares of farmland in Australia. Most of the acquired land is located in the eastern part of the country. A separate entity, named Hassad Australia, has been in operation for several years as part of this food-sourcing program.

“The company’s primary aim is to source around 35% of Qatar’s grain and livestock needs from Australia,” it was stated. That country was selected for the investment “because of its excellence in grain and livestock production.”

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