Oakland, CA--Iowa-based Bruce Rastetter and AgriSol Energy have friends in high places. Why else would the US Ambassador to Tanzania step forward and defend AgriSol's activities in Tanzania with false information?
Amidst growing international criticism of AgriSol's plan to develop land and evict over 160,000 long-term residents (refugees from Burundi with over 40 years of established homes, farms and businesses) the Tanzanian government is still planning to move forward with the project. The latest in the AgriSol Energy saga is support extended by the US Ambassador to Tanzania, Alfonso Lenhardt, who recently defended AgriSol's activities in Tanzania's Rukwa and Kigoma region, as important to ensure the country of food security and meet energy needs. (http://dailynews.co.tz/home/?n=26717)
In response to concern over allegations of land grabbing by AgriSol in western Tanzanian regions, Mr. Lenhardt said: "Agrisol have not grabbed any land but were actually invited by the Prime Minister when he visited Iowa state two years ago and saw how American technology can produce sufficient food and energy from farms."
Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute corrected Ambassador Lenhardt with this statement: "Honorable Ambassador, our latest Brief dismantles AgriSol's lies around project benefits to the people of Tanzania. It is shocking to us that an appointee of the Obama administration would side with a project that will displace and destroy livelihoods of over 160,000 Africans to accommodate investors including US and Tanzanian politicians and businessmen with questionable records of integrity."
With growing international pressure, AgriSol Energy is rewriting their game plan as they go forward. With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake it is not going to be easy to get them to back off their original plans to take fertile and inhabited land in Tanzania.
The Oakland Institute first exposed AgriSol's land investment deal in June 2011 and now has an urgent new Brief, Eight Myths and Facts About AgriSol. It explains why this investment will neither provide food security or energy for Tanzania.
Download the latest Brief, Eight Myths and Facts About AgriSol, at http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/land-deal-brief-eight-myths-and-facts-about-agrisol-energy-tanzania.