NRBs-owned firm to go for commercial rice production in Uganda
Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER
DHAKA, JAN 5: Farland Investment Ltd, a UK- based private land and asset investment and management company which is owned by non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs), is going to commence its first phase commercial rice production in Uganda by March. “We have already started seed testing activities two weeks ago and hope to go for commercial rice cultivation on 400 hectares of land in Uganda, taken on lease, by March,” Md Sirajul Islam Jowardhar, Farland’s managing director, told a press conference at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the city on Thursday.
As part of the company’s project Phase-1, it signed a joint venture agreement for10,000 hectares of farmland with Kolir Sub Country of Bukedea District in Uganda on October 21, 2011.
The land has been acquired on lease for a 49-year term, with a renewal right for another 49 years.
The company will broaden their cultivation areas step-by-step enabling it to cultivate the 10,000 hectares of land by 2015, Jowardhar said.
“The project will be the largest commercial agriculture project in East Africa. After its implementation, approximately 80,000-90,000 tonnes of rice will be produced a year, of which nearly 43,000 tonnes milled rice with good value addition are to be exported to Bangladesh,” he said.
The estimated capital investment for Phase-1 is over US$ 22 million, with a further productive investment of $ 9 million, he said, adding that investment return projected in 4 years is 32 per cent, the company’s top official said.
As a foreign investment company, he said, the investment will be guaranteed by the government of Uganda through the protocols of the internationally recognised Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.
In addition, he said, the project will also create employment opportunities for Bangladeshi skilled farmers, as 1500 Bangladeshis will be employed in the project with settlement rights in Uganda, along with their families as permanent residents.
“Uganda is developing rapidly and our workers will be able to benefit from other business opportunities in the country,” Jowardhar said.
The company will provide US$ 200 remuneration per month to each worker along with accommodation facility, medical support and education to their family members, Jowardhar said.