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April 11, 2009

Jordan to move forward on agricultural investments in Sudan

Jordan will dispatch a delegation to Sudan on April 16 headed by its agriculture minister Saeed Al-Masri to discuss an agreement on developing food farms in the East African country, according to media reports.

Both countries have signed an agreement in 1998 by which Sudan granted Jordan vast pieces of agricultural land for investment in food products.

The accord provides for mobility of capital movements and money transfers as well as the freedom to export the end products or sell them in local markets.

Under the agreement Jordan has the ability to employ from within its citizens or Sudanese nationals to work on the farms. Furthermore there are no restrictions on imports of machinery or items necessary for the agricultural investments.

Sudan Tribune

But despite the lucrative terms offered there has been much hesitance from the Jordanian businessmen to invest in Sudan throughout the 10 years drawing criticisms from observers in both countries.

The Jordanian agricultural minister said that his ministry has encouraged business men to visit Sudan and observe the investment climate in agricultural lands.

A number of Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have moved to lock up lands in Sudan in the wake of a global food shortage that sent its prices up sharply and caused protests worldwide particularly in developing nations.

Sudan has offered Arab countries free use of the land, hoping to benefit from the cash surplus particularly among Arab Gulf states as well as technology deployed in these projects.

Furthermore Sudan hopes that agricultural investments will boost infrastructure projects in the area.

(GRAIN)

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