If Indonesia decides to go ahead with leasing farmland, it should do so with caution, keeping an eye on both the risks and the opportunities. We need to understand that we have a very strong bargaining position.
Aimed at public and private market investors, this conference will explore opportunities for global investments in agricultural lands, commodities and infrastructure in North and South America, Australia, China, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
China has said it will not join the growing trend of outsourcing food production by investing in overseas farmland, particularly in Africa, expressing doubts that such deals could improve its food security.
The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's private sector lending arm, will nearly double its investment in agribusiness in Africa to $200 million during the 2009 fiscal year, a senior official said.
Growing interest from Asia and Middle East countries to lease agricultural land in Africa "is not a bad thing" but must be handled properly and in a transparent way, a top World Bank official said on Thursday.
The chief of the International Finance Corporation, Lars Thunell, has been holding talks with Saudi finance minister Ibrahim Al-Assa on corporation in areas of joint 'external agricultural investments'.