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May 18, 2011

India to develop farmland in Senegal

by Drew Hinshaw

India may sign an agreement with Senegal’s Agricultural Ministry to develop 150,000 hectares (370,658 acres) of farmland, the government said.

The land will be used to grow and process rice, corn, peanuts, cotton and cereals, the Communications Ministry said in an e-mailed statement in Dakar, the capital. The area will be equipped with irrigation pumps and machinery including tractors, the statement said, without providing further details.

Senegal, a food-importing country the size of Nebraska, is in its fourth year of President Abdoulaye Wade’s Grand National Agricultural Offensive, a campaign to reduce its dependence on food imports by boosting annual output of staple foods including rice and millet.

The Agricultural Ministry also plans to raise production of potatoes, wheat and hibiscus tea in 2011, according to the statement. The West African nation is expected to produce 50 tons of tomatoes this year, a 43 percent increase from the previous year, it said.


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