UAE to lease agricultural land in Indonesia

UAE to lease agricultural land in IndonesiaThe oil rich Gulf nations, largely dependent on food imports, have been eying on the farmland of developing countries such as Ethopia, Philippines and Pakistan, for securing their food supply.

In a similar move, the UAE based Minerals Energy Commodities Holding (MEC) has been working out plans for leasing around 100000 hectares of farmland in Indonesia which is intended to be used for agricultural purposes. The proposed land is located in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province where MEC already have a multibillion railway and coal project.

Mr. Madhu Koneru, the Vice-chairman of MEC, said, "In that area there is about 400,000ha of available land to lease and we are planning to lease around 100,000ha of that."

MEC, a 50:50 joint venture between government-run investment fund RAK Minerals and Metals Investments and privately-run UAE-based mining company Trimex, wants to use its nearby railways track for transporting agricultural products.

Koneru said that the company may also develop fertilizer business in the region as fertilizers are an integral part of the agricultural output. He told, "The moment agriculture comes in, we would need fertilizers and this would give us the opportunity to develop and expand our minerals business."