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AgriSol Energy LLC

AgriSol Looking for New Partner in Tanzania Project

 

By Kristen East

 

In light of ongoing controversy involving an ethics complaint filed against him, state Board of Regents President Pro Tem Bruce Rastetter said AgriSol Energy officials are moving forward by seeking other education outreach opportunities with other universities.

Rastetter told Daily Iowan reporters during an interview Wednesday that AgriSol Energy Tanzania plans to work with other universities in the Kigoma region of Tanzania. Officials recently signed a lease there.

Rastetter Breaks his Silence on AgriSol Project

By Hannah Furfaro

 

AgriSol Energy’s intentions to build industrial farms in Tanzania have been misrepresented by the media and advocacy groups, according to Iowa Board of Regents president pro tem and agriculture entrepreneur Bruce Rastetter, who sat down with the Ames Tribune for an interview about the project Wednesday.

In an attempt to quell some of the controversy surrounding his involvement in the $100 million agriculture project, Rastetter discussed his participation after a year of silence.

American Bio-Energy Firm in Trouble in Tanzania

 

by Ben Taub

 

An American bio-energy firm that touts its social mission could kick more than 160,000 farmers off their land in Tanzania.

AgriSol, a company with offices in Alden, Iowa and Rowayton, Connecticut, is leasing hundreds of thousands of acres in Tanzania. The company claims its mission is to ”improve food security…the health of Tanzanian children, and the livelihoods of the smallholders around our farm.”

Iowa Regent Admits PR Mistakes in Africa Land Deal

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Regent Bruce Rastetter on Thursday defended working with Iowa State University to pursue a large-scale land development in Africa that could have benefited himself financially and blamed growing criticism over his involvement on misinformation and public relations mistakes.

Daily Iowan: Rastetter and Tanzania Response from the Oakland Institute

True, not all businesses are cruel, and not all profits mean greed. After spending more than 18 months researching AgriSol's land deal in Tanzania, this conclusion could only apply if one failed to read company's internal documents or chose to ignore the reality on the ground that our field research yielded.

Activists Take Message to State Officials’ Doorsteps

Three busloads of activists traveled to two state officials’ homes Saturday advocating for the dismissal of one of the regents who oversees the state universities.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement organized afternoon protests at the homes of Jeff Boeyink, Gov. Terry Branstad’s chief of staff, and David Roederer, director of the Iowa Department of Management.

AgriSol Land Deal in Tanzania Creates Uncertain Future for Over 160,000

OAKLAND, CA – A new report by the Oakland Institute, Lives on Hold, exposes the consequences of Iowa-based AgriSol Energy LLC’s plans to lease more than 800,000 acres in Tanzania. The project initiated in 2007-2008 has moved forward without public debate or consent, and will evict more than 160,000 long-term residents of Katumba and Mishamo, who remain in the dark over compensation and relocation plans. The AgriSol land deal is a part of Kilimo Kwanza, or Agriculture First, the Tanzanian government’s scheme to promote agricultural development through public-private partnerships.

Letters to the Editor--Rastetter and Tanzania

Rastetter and Tanzania

We're all entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. The Daily Iowan's July 12 editorial "AgriSol profits don't make the company at fault" makes an ideological argument about the value of so-called "free markets" and "feeding the world" without any critical analysis of the actual facts on the ground, much less the perspectives of the poor refugees directly affected.

Iowa Firm Accused of Displacing Tanzanians for Profit

WASHINGTON, Jul 11 2012 (IPS) - A major U.S. energy company, AgriSol Energy, is accused of engaging in land grabs in Tanzania that would displace more than 160,000 Burundian refugees who have lived there for decades, according to a report by the Oakland Institute, an organisation focused on environmental issues.

Report Aligns Tanzania Strife, Ag Objective of Rastetter Firm

But AgriSol denies any tie between its efforts and abuses of refugees.

A new report alleges Tanzanian refugees are suffering ongoing human rights abuses, in part because of relocation efforts that have coincided with a push by an agriculture company with Iowa ties to lease land in the country.

Some of an estimated 162,000 refugees in Tanzania have had their homes and crops burned by government security officials and been arbitrarily arrested and denied free speech, according to the Oakland Institute, a California think tank.

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