Bangladesh govt prods local investors to farm cotton, food in Africa

Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, by Mushir Ahmed, March 30, 2011.

The foreign ministry has cleared the way for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to invest in farming sector in the vast and untapped rural expanse of Africa, said an official Tuesday. The move comes after two fact-finding missions led by the foreign secretary last year found farming in the so-called dark continent “exceedingly lucrative” for Bangladeshi investors.

The teams headed by Mijarul Quayes visited Liberia, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ghana and now foreign ministry wants the Bangladesh Bank and the agriculture ministry to take up the case for overseas farming. “Bangladeshi entrepreneurs can invest in rice, wheat, cotton, coco and coffee farming in Africa. We want them to go fast before investors of other countries arrive,” said a senior foreign ministry official.

The government sent the fact-finders in August and September last year as part of its efforts to ensure food security for the country’s fast-growing population. The country has been losing arable land to realtors and non-farm sectors at a very fast rate and under such circumstances, the government has been looking for alternative sources for food production … //

… The foreign ministry has cleared the way for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to invest in farming sector in the vast and untapped rural expanse of Africa, said an official Tuesday. The move comes after two fact-finding missions led by the foreign secretary last year found farming in the so-called dark continent “exceedingly lucrative” for Bangladeshi investors. The teams headed by Mijarul Quayes visited Liberia, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ghana and now foreign ministry wants the Bangladesh Bank and the agriculture ministry to take up the case for overseas farming.

“Bangladeshi entrepreneurs can invest in rice, wheat, cotton, coco and coffee farming in Africa. We want them to go fast before investors of other countries arrive,” said a senior foreign ministry official.

The government sent the fact-finders in August and September last year as part of its efforts to ensure food security for the country’s fast-growing population. The country has been losing arable land to realtors and non-farm sectors at a very fast rate and under such circumstances, the government has been looking for alternative sources for food production. (full text).

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