China Buys 7.4M Acres of Ukraine
Will farm an area roughly the size of Massachusetts
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2013 7:27 PM CDT
Windmill in Pirogovo, Kiev, Ukraine   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – As demand for food grows in China—and farmland shrinks—the country has signed a deal with Ukraine that will eventually see it plowing into 3 million hectares (that's about 7.4 million acres) of the Ukrainian farmland. China will initially receive 100,000 hectares—an area about the size of Hong Kong—and increasingly acquire more over the next 50 years, the South China Morning Post reports. Quartz notes that 3 million hectares is 5% of Ukraine's total land, and 9% of its arable farmland. The total area China will eventually be farming is roughly the size of Massachusetts or Belgium.

The land will be used mainly for growing crops and raising pigs, the Post reports, then the produce will be sold to two Chinese state-owned grain companies at favorable prices. The price tag on the deal is unknown, though a local newspaper reported last month that it would be more than $2.6 billion—a "unprecedented foreign investment" for Ukraine's agricultural industry. China already has about two million hectares of overseas farmland, according to an agricultural researcher in Beijing, but Ukraine will eventually be home to its largest farm project abroad. (Click for the unusual story of a much, much smaller land purchase.)

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Sep 28, 2013 5:22 AM CDT
Really digging missle sites?
Sep 24, 2013 5:57 PM CDT
Bad idea for any country let another country buy it's farm land or any other land. If people in the Ukraine ever need it to feed their own people, they can all starve now. The business people in the Ukraine who sold it to the Chinese are traitors to their own people.
Sep 24, 2013 4:54 PM CDT
Anyhow, Singapore is setting up vertical farms requiring almost no soil at all. Of course, hard to raise cattle that way :) Chickens too.