South Sudan ready to lease land to Bangladesh: Razzaque
African country South Sudan wants to lease its vast fallow land to Bangladesh for producing crops.
South Sudan's Deputy Minister for Foreign and International Cooperation Deng Dau Deng Malek placed the proposal in a meeting with Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque in Dhaka today.
Malek also sought Bangladesh's cooperation in agricultural production, processing and marketing in the central African country, according to a press release of the agriculture ministry.
Speaking in the meeting, Razzaque said Bangladesh will send an expert team to identify specific areas of cooperation in this regard.
The team will comprise various experts including agricultural researchers, scientists and workers, he said.
After the meeting, Razzaque told reporters that South Sudan has more than six lakh square kilometres of land. "Most of its land is fallow, non-cultivated. There is a possibility of producing many crops by bringing this huge area under agricultural production," he said.
The issue of cultivating crops on leased land of the South Sudan government has been under discussion for a long time, he said.
Many private entrepreneurs in Bangladesh have also expressed interest and the government is also considering the matter seriously, he added.
"We will send an expert team to see what crops can be grown in South Sudan and how the land can be brought under cultivation," he said.
Specific initiatives will be taken on the basis of the report of the expert team. "I would like to invite those who want to invest in the private sector. The government will take initiative in these matters including sending workers," he said.