Karuturi Global Ltd. is to construct embankments
around 25,000ht of farmland, half the size of Addis
Abeba, in Gambella Regional State, at a cost of 15
million dollars, following its report of a loss of
15 million dollars due to flooding.
The loss incurred was due to the destruction of
maize planted on 12,000ht of farmland in Jicao and
Pulldong Weredas, 700 km southwest of Addis,
according to Ramakrishna Karuturi, General Manager
of the company.
The company announced last Monday that fresh floods
from the river banks of Alwero and Baro in Western
Gambella submerged the farmland, destroying crops
that would potentially have produced 60,000tn of
maize. The farm, which has a perimeter of 150km, had
dikes on the side that faces the river, according to
“However, the dikes which covered a length of 80km
across the farm and stood at around 1.8 metre tall
were not enough to withstand the flooding,” Karuturi
told Fortune. “We are trying to make the land a
polder by building taller dikes surrounding the
entire farm, which are four meters tall, nine meters
wide at the bottom and three meters wide at the
Polders are low-lying tracts of land enclosed by
dikes forming an artificial hydrological entity with
no connection to outside water other than via
The company hired Water and Power Consultancy
Services (WAPCOS), an Indian public sector
enterprise with autonomy to enter joint ventures and
subsidiaries, to provide consulting services in
flood control and the design of irrigation &
Along with WAPCOS, Water Watch, a Dutch advisory
firm, has also been retained by Karuturi. The firm
provides satellite information on hydrological
processes and water management issues.
“These companies were hired six months, before the
flooding because they have great expertise in the
area of flood control and irrigation in the region,”
Karuturi told Fortune.
WAPCOS had previously signed agreements with the
government of Ethiopia for the study of Koga
Irrigation and Watershed management project,
extension of services for Wabi Shebelle river basin
master plan study and the feasibility study of Kesem
and Tendaho Dams in 2004.
Water watch also had previous involvement in
Ethiopia, when it presented an inventory of the
natural resources and planning of an irrigation
system for Tana and Beles basin in 2009.
Karuturi Global already had plans to make the farm a
polder before the flooding.
“We had long-term plans to slowly build barriers
around the farm; however the recent flooding has
necessitated that construction should begin soon,
ahead of our plans,” Karuturi told Fortune.
The cost of building the dikes is three million
dollars per 5,000ht of land spanning 30 km,
according to Karuturi.
“Plans for the construction of the dikes will be
finalized in November and we will start construction
then,” Karuturi told Fortune. “We plan to cover
5,000ht of land per month and finish the project in
The company still has plans to plant crops in late
October or November 2011, which will cover 5,000 to
10,000ht of land, and expects to harvest the crops
in March 2012, according to Shilpa Roi executive
assistant at Karuturi.
“The rainy season is over so we do not have to worry
about another flooding in the near future,” Karuturi
Karuturi agreed to lease 300,000ht of land in
Gambella region in 2009 for the production of
cereals, sugar cane, palm oils and vegetable. For
Phase I of the project, Karuturi has been given
100,000ht of the agreed upon land.
Karuturi, who is the largest rose producer in the
world, also has 100ht of land in Holeta, Oromia
Regional State, 40 km from Addis Abeba and 3,85ht of
land in Wolisso, South Western Shoa district, 90 km
from the capital.