Bahrain may invest in Manila farmland

Bahrain Tribune - 14/06/2008

(MENAFN - Bahrain Tribune) Bahrain is eyeing a major food production programme with the Philippines in a bid to ensure food security in the Kingdom.

The programme includes a possible investment in a rice farmland in the Philippines.

The Tribune has learnt that a key meeting between Minister of Commerce and Industry officials and the Filipino Agriculture Minister took place in Manila last month.

The meeting came amid the increasing food prices, particularly rice, around the world.

Philippine Ambassador Eduardo Pablo Maglaya said the talks between Bahrain and Filipino officials were extensive but no specifics on proposed projects had been discussed yet. "Talks were held on food security programmes but nothing was finalised."

Citing a banana export programme between the two countries which has been continuing for years, the ambassador said Bahrain procuring a paddy farmland in the Philippines might not be a far-fetched idea. "Rice plantation operation is possible."

A huge banana farm in southern Philippines is being operated by a Bahraini private company. The bananas produced are brought to Bahrain.

The Philippines has been a major exporter of food products to Bahrain.

Although it has more arable lands compared with other nations in southeast Asia, the Philippines is also experiencing a crisis and importing rice from around the world.

Bahrain is also inviting private companies to set up joint ventures to invest in Thai farmlands, traders and industry sources have said.

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