Thursday, 7 May 2009

Investors invited to develop million hectares of Philippine agri land


MANILA, Philippines - Over a million hectares of land will be made available to foreign and local investors in a bid to boost agriculture productivity.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said his department is offering for development more than 1.2 million to 1.5 million hectares of agribusiness land including the community-based forestry management areas identified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“Most of the areas are suitable for farm production," he added.

A 23-member delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia visited the country for possible investment opportunities such as palay, corn, poultry and livestock, high-value commercial crops such as bananas, mangoes, pineapples and fisheries subsectors.

The government is offering opportunities for these investors to develop postharvest and processing facilities for these products; expand areas for production; and build physical infrastructure like irrigation projects.

These investors could also consider the fisheries subsector, particularly in the development of mariculture parks.

“The establishment of mariculture parks also offer investors opportunities to produce high-value commercial fish species such as grouper, red snapper, tilapia and king crab, they said, as well as the construction of hatcheries for high-value species [grouper, seabass, abalone], fish processing plants, postharvest facilities, feedmills; intensification of production of brackish water fishponds; fabrication of sea cages and other equipment; and aqua tourism," the statement read.

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