Saudi Wants 200,000 Hectares Of PH Ricefield

A Saudi company is interested in leasing up to 200,000 hectares of rain-fed government land and private farms to produce 1.2 million metric tons (MMT) of rice for the Saudi Arabian market.

Dante Delima, assistant secretary at the Department of Agriculture (DA) and coordinator of the National Rice Program (NRP), has already endorsed to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala a proposal to create a technical working group (TWG) to study the matter.

The proposal for the long-term land lease was advanced by Dr. Khalid Abu al-Saud of Dar Al-Maskukat Trad¬ing of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, through a letter dated April 1, 2012 and coursed through Dr. Eduardo C. Sison, chairman of the Madecor Group of Los Baños, Laguna.

Al-Saud broached the idea of entering into a joint venture agree¬ment (JVA) with the government for large-scale rice production, with the Saudi side, saying the volume to be produced would be equivalent to the country's annual rice imports.

Saudi Arabia heavily favor basmati rice varieties, the very same varieties that the DA is now seeking to propagate in at least 10 rice-producing provinces nationwide.

In response to al-Saud's letter, Alcala's letter dated May 7, 2012 said: "We share your enthusiasm toward this project, considering that such a joint venture will definitely boost our farmers' income and provide opportunities to modernize their production and post-harvest capabilities."

Alcala added: "We recognize that in the long run, this partnership could result in a mutually beneficial arrangement for both our countries as we cope with the international realities of food scarcity."

In all probability, the JVA offer could spur the production of basmati rice varieties, three of which are now being propagated, with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) developing the seeds for distribution to rice farmers.

Alcala also told al-Saud that the proposal will be considered in the light of the special rice varieties re¬quired by Saudi consumers and "the availability of large tracts of land that can be leased on a long-term basis."

Delima submitted a memo to Al¬cala on the same day to suggest the creation of the TWG, arguing that a thorough study should be undertaken "considering the possible impact on our rice sufficiency campaign vis-à-vis our desire to encourage invest¬ments, boost agricultural production for the export market and raise farm¬ers' income."

The TWG, Delima stressed, would "study, validate, evaluate and imple¬ment the preparatory work for this prospective JVA."

He proposed that the members of the TWG come from the following: DA Secretary's Technical Advisory Group, DA's International Relations Division, NRP, Agricultural Market¬ing Assistance Service (AMAS), Na¬tional Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corp. (PADCC), and a representative of Dr. Khalid Abu al-Saud.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • 13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital
    13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital

    Thirteen of the 15 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who survived the bloody firefight with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano last month are ready to go home after a month of medical treatment, a police official said yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the two remaining survivors will have to stay in hospital for further treatment, one of whom has shrapnel embedded near his spine. One of the two SAF commando survivors is still …

  • US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea
    US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea

    The United States has deployed its newest and most advanced surveillance aircraft for patrols over the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. The P-8A Poseidon aircraft completed more than 180 flight hours from Feb. 1 to 21 from Clark Air Base, according to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet. …

  • Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2
    Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2

    How well does this P3,999 offering from an underdog in the local mobile industry stack up against the competition? Let's find out. …

  • No coercion, force in sea row – France
    No coercion, force in sea row – France

    France renewed its call for a peaceful resolution of the West Philippine Sea dispute during a meeting between its leader President Francois Hollande and President Aquino at Malacañang. “We reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in Southeast Asia and promoting maritime security, freedom of navigation and the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea),” Aquino said in a statement …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options