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Bangladesh Looks To Africa For Food Land

Bangladeshi firms have joined Chinese and other companies looking to lease farmland in Africa as part of efforts to feed a growing population and offset creeping urbanization at home.

Over the next two years Bangladeshi firms plan to lease a total of 600,000 hectares of unused arable land in African countries including Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Mozambique and Liberia, said Wahidur Rahman, a senior Foreign Ministry official, May 19.

Bhati Bangla Agritech was set to sign a deal to hire 30,000 hectares of farmland in Tanzania, while Nitol Group has inked an agreement to lease 10,000 hectares of land in Uganda, he said.

The move would help create jobs for Bangladeshi farmers as well.

The government, battling food price inflation of nearly 14 per cent, is looking at all possible options to ensure security of food supplies for its more than 150 million people.

The disaster-prone South Asian country, once self-sufficient in rice production, has recently become a big importer, which analysts blamed on shrinking farmland due to rapid industrialization and urbanization.

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