Gov’t mulls farm deals with Saudi investors

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Business World | Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Neil Jerome C. Morales

AGRICULTURE department officials are discussing investment proposals in the farm and fisheries sector to be presented to Saudi counterparts this April, the department said in a press release yesterday.

The statement said that Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Marriz B. Agbon, president of the Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corp., the department’s agribusiness arm, will lead the group that will craft the investments proposals.

"The points of discussion will be the identification of suitable new land partners for Saudi investors and the formulation of joint venture agreements," Mr. Agbon said in a mobile "text" message.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap said Saudi Arabia had expressed intentions to invest in the local agriculture sector during meetings with Abdullah bin Ahmen Zainal Alireza, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Agriculture Minister Fahd Balghunaim.

Mr. Yap said that Saudi investors are interested in basmati rice, corn, cassava, sugar, animal fodder, fisheries, red meat, Philippine bananas and mangoes.

The investments in agricultural projects in foreign countries aim to meet Saudi Arabia’s increasing demand for fruits, vegetables and livestock products, Mr. Yap said.
Original source: Business World
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