Kuwait eyes foreign farms for food supplies
Kuwait City, July 16, 2008
Kuwait is considering investing in farmland abroad to help secure food supplies as the Gulf state grapples with record inflation, a report said.
In particular, Kuwait is seeking to invest in chicken farms as part of a national food plan, Mohammad Al-Ansari, head of the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies, was quoted as saying by the daily Awan newspaper.
Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), should participate in the project, Al-Ansari said.
'We are working with the Public Authority for Agriculture to provide a national food strategy (of) chicken, meat, and eggs...and we hope other parties will work with us, such as ...the Public Institution for Social Security and Kuwait Investment Authority,' he was quoted as saying.
'We're interested in setting up chicken farms to provide these supplies of which we consume more than 1 million tonnes per year.'
He added: 'We hope other institutions will participate to realise this dream which has become reality in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has leased land in African and Asian countries to secure national food supplies...'
Soaring food prices are a key driver of inflation which hit a record 10.14 percent in February in the world's seventh-largest oil exporter.
The co-op organisation runs a network of supermarkets where citizens can buy subsidised food under a card scheme.
Last month, Commerce and Industry Minister Ahmad Baqer told parliament the government could work with other Gulf Arab states to invest in food production and farming to secure food supplies to a region that is largely desert. - Reuters