10/28/2009

Turkey and Saudi Arabia to map out cooperation in agricultural investments

Arab News - Saudi Arabia and Turkey will hold talks to map out a future strategy for cooperation in the agriculture sector. The talks will be led by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Agriculture Fahd Balghunaim, while Turkey's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Mehdi Eker will attend from the Turkish side. “Saudi Arabia and Turkey are eager to enhance their relations in the field of agriculture”, said Sadik Arslan, charge d’ affaires at the Turkish Embassy, when asked about the agenda for the talks. Arslan said that Eker and his seven-member entourage were on a three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia following an invitation extended by Balghunaim. He said that Riyadh and Ankara are keen to explore a new cooperation agenda, especially in the agriculture sector. Turkey has emerged today as one of the preferred destinations for Saudi investments in agriculture projects. Turkey is one of the few self-sufficient countries in the world in terms of food. Its fertile soil, adequate climate, and abundant rainfall allow the farming of almost all kinds of crops. In terms of agricultural land, Turkey is also one of the largest countries in the world. Around 35.5 percent of the country has arable lands, while 15 percent of it consists of forests. The cultivated land is more than 26.5 million hectares. “The alluvial land and their availability for growing crops have generated a lot of interest among Saudi businessmen, who are willing to make agriculture investments in Turkey”, said a recent report. Moreover, Turkey also wants to undertake joint projects with Saudi Arabia, it said.

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