Saudi Arabia buying up farmland in US Southwest/Saving their water

Ron Aldof Mon, 01/18/2016 - 16:05

Image result for pic of barley


"Saudi Arabia grows alfalfa hay in both states for shipment back to its domestic dairy herds. In another real-life example of the world's interconnected economy, the Saudis increasingly look to produce animal feed overseas in order to save water in their own territory, most of which is desert.

Privately held Fondomonte California on Sunday announced that it bought 1,790 acres of farmland in Blythe, California — an agricultural town along the Colorado River — for nearly $32 million. Two years ago, Fondomont's parent company, Saudi food giant Almarai, purchased another 10,000 acres of farmland about 50 miles away in Vicksburg, Arizona, for around $48 million.

"They will continue to come over here and buy properties where they can grow good-quality alfalfa hay and ship it back to the Middle East. It makes logical sense for them to do that because they're not going to be able to grow it in Saudi Arabia, especially for milk production." -Joseph Dutra, President, Westec

But not everyone likes the trend. The alfalfa exports are tantamount to "exporting water," because in Saudi Arabia, "they have decided that it's better to bring feed in rather than to empty their water reserves," said Keith Murfield, CEO of United Dairymen of Arizona, a Tempe-based dairy cooperative whose members also buy alfalfa. "This will continue unless there's regulations put on it."


"In a statement announcing the California farmland purchase, the Saudi company said the deal "forms part of Almarai's continuous efforts to improve and secure its supply of the highest quality alfalfa hay from outside the (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) to support its dairy business. It is also in line with the Saudi government direction toward conserving local resources."

Alamarai did not respond to CNBC requests for an interview.

"We're not getting oil for free, so why are we giving our water away for free?" asked La Paz County Board of Supervisors Chairman Holly Irwin, who represents a rural area in western Arizona where food companies affiliated with the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates have come to farm alfalfa for export."

More on this article here:


What is the category of this post? (choose up to 2): 
Ron Aldof's picture
About the author
#IStandWithRandAndLiberty! Let's get back to Liberty and Freedom. Trump is working with the Establishment.
nickm ron paul 08's picture

The land was for sale and nobody bought it.  So Saudi Arabia bought it.  For over 80 million dollars.  Thats not free.  I don't see the problem here.  Is this article calling for more government regulation?  Government regulation that would obviously not just apply to a Saudi company but every American as well?

stm's picture

Who needs borders, right?

Just let whatever government or whoever foreigner come here and take our land, water, uranium, etc and money through all the welfare programs.

sarc Borders only mean something when another country has them. The so-called 'United States' should never, ever have borders! /sarc

When I read stories like this I can't help but feel that the politicians really don't love this country the way the people do.




Laugh. It makes you feel good.

deacon's picture

over something that is totally one sided,you nor I are afforded the same opportunities at owning anything or moving to another country as freely as some can,now if that field was level with all given the same opportunities,then open borders might make sense,or be a true option for all,not just for a given select few.