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Kuwait rents rice farms in Cambodia

Kuwait City, August 5, 2008

Kuwait has leased rice fields in Cambodia and plans to import food from the Asian country, a government official said.

Soaring food prices are a key driver of inflation in the desert state, hitting 11 percent in April and May. Kuwait imports most of its food and has said it wants to invest in chicken and other farms as part of a national food plan.

Daily Awan quoted Foreign Minister Undersecetary Khaled Al-Jarallah, who is with Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah on an Asian tour, as saying the rice fields would meet the country's food demand.

"Kuwait has rented many rice fields which will secure the country's needs, and will export the surplus to the international markets," the paper quoted Al-Jarallah as saying.

Kuwait has also discussed investments in the oil, industrial and tourism sectors, he told the paper.

Kuwait is interested in investing in the agricultural sector in Cambodia and boosting trade in food products, state news agency Kuna said late on Tuesday after a meeting between Finance Minister Mustapha Al-Shamali and Cambodian officials.

In June, Commerce and Industry Minister Ahmad Baqer told parliament the world's seventh-largest oil exporter could work with fellow Gulf Arab states to invest in food production and farming to secure food supplies.

The Saudi government is negotiating on behalf of Saudi investors to set up projects in Sudan, Egypt, Ukraine, Pakistan and Turkey for wheat, barley, soybeans, rice and animal fodder. - Reuters




Tags: Kuwait | rice | Cambodia |

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