Saudi Arabia

Middle East economy: Food outsourcing

The Saudi government announced that it would co-ordinate with local private-sector companies and invest in strategic agricultural interests in key producer countries such as Brazil, Ukraine, Thailand and India, guaranteeing for itself supplies of cereals, meat and vegetables. It is already in advanced negotiations with Thai investors and a deal on rice farms in Thailand is likely before the end of the year.

Saudis plan to grow crops overseas

Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to develop large-scale overseas agricultural projects to secure food supplies, revealing that Riyadh is in discussions with Ukraine, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey and Egypt.

Bahrain eyes farmland in Philippines

Bahrain wants to invest in rice farmland in the Philippines, the world's top importer of the grain, in a move to boost food security as global food supplies become increasingly expensive, traders said on Wednesday.

Thaksin's rice plan angers local farmers

Farmers and activists have opposed a plan for a business consortium from Saudi Arabia to invest in rice farming in Thailand. The scheme is said to be the creation of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Farmers fear they could lose their livelihood and rice farming could be held hostage by foreign investors.