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- Middle East Political & Social Issues
Saudi Arabia is Buying America
Saudi Arabia has a problem that they created. In December, 2015, they outlawed any crops that are used for livestock feed, like alfalfa. It was kind of an odd decision for them because they have 170,000 cows to feed from their parched dry land. Alfalfa and wheat, like other crops, uses enormous amounts of water, something not found in SA. It was part of the government’s crackdown on water usage where agriculture accounts for 90% of water consumption there.
To solve the problem, the Saudi firm, Almarai, has bought 14,000 acres in California’s Palo Verde valley that has first rights to the water from the Colorado River. It also purchased more land near Vicksburg, AZ., making it an economic force in the region. In essence, SA is securing its food supply to its people, while the West uses the Saudi oil to fuel their needs. Both the UAE and SA account for 10% of all hay sales for export. The UAE has its own grain exporter company in Bakersfield, CA., and grows alfalfa on some 7,500 acres in various places in the state and Arizona.
In 2014, the Saudis paid $47.5 million for 9000 acres in La Paz Country, Arizona to grow alfalfa because the area is exempt from water use restrictions that Phoenix, Tucson and others, must follow to protect the state’s aquifers. In January, 2016, the Saudis paid $31.5 million for 1800 acres in Palo Verde. Some locals are not happy about the intrusion of foreign countries buying up land in the USA, especially those who have or still do support radical Islam secretly. Saudi Arabia was one and many still feel the government tacitly still promotes its extreme version of Islam in the Middle East. Thus, the Saudi company has recently tried to appease opposition by buying more hay from local farmers and building a new hay production plant in Imperial Valley, CA.
Why is America so easily sold to foreign countries when they do no reciprocate? Does America own any of the Saudi oil fields they developed?