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Bangladesh government looking to purchase foreign land for farming

In an attempt to curb food insecurity and boost the economy, the Bangladesh government has been shopping around in different countries to find land for farming, IRIN reports.

According to the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, the government has been in talks with Ukraine for possible wheat production, in Cambodia to discuss taking up rice cultivation and in parts of Africa to check out other possible sites for crops.

The plan is an attempt for the government to supply new job opportunities and food to its more than 160 million residents. The news source reports that Bangladesh residents who take up work in other countries sent back $11 billion in 2009 and 2010, which shows that the new project may be a viable endeavor.

Although government officials are optimistic that the idea will help reduce malnutrition and will boost the local economy, experts like Carl Atkin, a agri-business consultant, says the results are not instantaneous.

"This is not a short-term fix. If you're going to invest in farmland and farming, it's a minimum five- to 10-year time horizon, and probably longer," Atkin told the publication.

He adds that it can work, as long as intentions are good.

"If this is done in the correct way, in a responsible way, it can be a win-win for everyone," he told the source.
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