BD to take Cambodian lands on lease to produce rice

BD to take Cambodian lands on lease to produce rice
Nazmul Ahsan

Bangladesh will take Cambodian lands on lease to produce rice over there and import it to meet the local demands for the same.

Besides, Bangladeshi businessmen will establish rice husking mills in different cities of Cambodia.

A recent inter-ministerial meeting, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), took the decision. Foreign Secretary Mijarul Kayes presided over the meeting, sources said.

Representatives from ministries of agriculture, commerce, food and foreign affairs attended the meeting.

The decision came following the visit of foreign minister Dipu Moni, to Cambodia in late December, 2010, a high official in the foreign ministry said.

The meeting decided to form an expert team comprising representatives from different ministries concerned and private sector. The proposed team, likely to be headed by foreign secretary, will shortly visit Cambodia to complete necessary formalities with Cambodian government, sources said.

“The team to visit Cambodia will explore all potentials in taking lease of their lands to produce food grains, particularly rice and import the same to Bangladesh,” a top official in the foreign ministry said.

“A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bangladesh and Cambodia will be signed following the visit,” he added.

The foreign ministry officials said the government of Cambodia responded positively to a request for leasing out their lands to Bangladesh for agricultural purpose during the visit of Dipu Moni.

The terms of condition, particularly the lease-period and annual fees for the leased land, will be finalised by expert teams of contracting countries, sources said.

Asked, a high official in the foreign ministry, however, said no government ministry or agency conducted any feasibility study on the issue so far.

Bangladesh annually imports 3.0-3.2 million tonnes of food grains to meet the local demand.


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