09 Dec 2010
(MENAFN) Senegal is in talks with Saudi Arabia to lease farmland to grow food on an area nearly four times the size of Manhattan, an official in Senegal involved in the deal said.
Like other Gulf states, Saudi Arabia has been buying farmland in Asia and Africa to secure food supplies after inflation had nearly doubled the price of food in 2008.
According to the contract terms being discussed, the deal will allow up to 100 per cent of the food being produced on the land to be exported by the investors, the official from Senegal said.
Due to limited water supplies, the kingdom plans to phase out production of all the water intensive crops that had depleted resources. The crops include wheat, soya beans and animal fodder.
Saudi Arabia needs around 2.6 million tons of wheat annually, and the government said last year it would rely entirely on wheat imports by 2016.
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