VENTURES AFRICA – Horizon Plantations Ethiopia, majorly owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi, plans to invest US$600m over two years to produce edible oil. Jemal Ahmed, the manager, says al-Amoudi who is ranked by Forbes magazine as the world’s 63rd-richest person, owns 80 percent of the company.
One of the goals of Horizon is to substitute the country’s reliance on the importation of oil from Malaysia.
Last month, the company leased a 20,000-hectare plot in the northwestern Benishangul-Gumuz region to grow groundnuts, as part of a government drive to boost commercial agriculture.
Horizon bought Gojeb Agricultural Development Enterprise in the southern region from the government for 35.1m birr (US$2m), with plans to grow bananas and pineapple for export on 1,500 hectares. The company jointly runs the nation’s largest coffee estate, Bebeka, with the government in southwest Ethiopia.