Tunisia to lease farmland to foreigners -official

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UPDATE 1-Tunisia to lease farmland to foreigners -official

Fri Jul 2, 2010 10:50am GMT

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* Seeks advanced technology, export diversification

* It will invite bids on July 30

(Adds background)

TUNIS, July 2 (Reuters) - Tunisia plans to lease over 9,641 hectares of farmland to foreign investors this year to help increase agricultural production and exports, a government official said on Friday.

The official from the Agency of Agricultural Investment said the government would invite foreign investors to bid for the leases on July 30 and would pick the winners later this year.

The government seeks foreign investment to enhance production with the use of more advanced and sustainable technology and to diversify farm exports, most of which now go to the European Union where competition is increasingly tough.

"Agricultural land to be leased stretches over 9,641 hectares in 16 areas in the north, south and east of the country including Beni Khalled, Jelma, Teborba and Korba," the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Farming is a key sector in Tunisia, where crop yields swing sharply because of cyclical drought.

Labour-intensive agriculture is the main employer after manufacturing in the North African nation.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; editing by Jane Baird)

Reuters | Fri Jul 2, 2010

• Seeks advanced technology, export diversification

• It will invite bids on July 30

TUNIS, July 2 (Reuters) - Tunisia plans to lease over 9,641 hectares of farmland to foreign investors this year to help increase agricultural production and exports, a government official said on Friday.

The official from the Agency of Agricultural Investment said the government would invite foreign investors to bid for the leases on July 30 and would pick the winners later this year.

The government seeks foreign investment to enhance production with the use of more advanced and sustainable technology and to diversify farm exports, most of which now go to the European Union where competition is increasingly tough.

"Agricultural land to be leased stretches over 9,641 hectares in 16 areas in the north, south and east of the country including Beni Khalled, Jelma, Teborba and Korba," the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Farming is a key sector in Tunisia, where crop yields swing sharply because of cyclical drought.

Labour-intensive agriculture is the main employer after manufacturing in the North African nation.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; editing by Jane Baird)
Original source: Reuters
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