Thursday, 26 September 2013

China in your hand

This week China announced they had had reached an agreement with Ukraine to buy 3 million hectares of prime farmland in Dnipropetrovsk.

After much discussion as to what a hectare is the press went to town trying to contextualize 3 million.

Apparently it's about the size of Belgium, Armenia or Massachusetts and is 11,583 square miles or 9% of Ukraine's arable farm land.

I haven't checked any of these comparisons because I couldn't be bothered so don't email me if they are wrong.

However this was quickly followed up with a Refutation of Information statement from Ukraine saying it had all been a big misunderstanding and what they had actually agreed to was an investigation to cooperate in a 3 thousand hectare drip irrigation project.  

3 thousand hectares is about 11.5 square miles or the size of Slough.

Despite back tracking the intention still holds true that many country's, China included, recognise Ukraine as an important provider of food security so expect more of these announcements in the future and expect some of them to eventually stick.

It also holds true that Ukraine is one bastard of a place to do business.