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China to invest in The Philippines
The government is set to sign several memorandum of agreements (MoA) with China this week as Chinese President Wen Jiabao visits the Philippines to finalize earlier agreements that will pour in investment of about $ 5 billion in hybrid rice and hybrid corn growing over the next two years.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap told a press briefing that the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other government agencies have prepared about 20 MoAs that will be signed with the presence of Jiabao who will visit the country primarily for the Asean Summit in Cebu.

At P50,000 per hectare production cost for rice and corn, China's investments in the country may immediately reach to P10 billion for the development of 200,000 hectares of rice and corn areas alone. However, the target is really for China to invest in one million hectares of land for hybrid corn, hybrid rice, and hybrid sorghum which will be used by China for ethanol production.

Signatories to the MoA regarding the development of one million hectares of land will be Yap, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Angelo Reyes, and Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman. China's signatories will be China's Agriculture minister, People's Government of Jilin Yang Qingcai,China Development Bank Officer Zhao Jianping, and Liu Ye of Fuhua Group.

One MoA will have a focus on healthful food products, organic farming, over 200,000 hectares of land which will at the same time have agri-tourism features. This will be invested in by the Beidahuang Group with Sui Fengfu and Philippine Agriculture Attache to China William Co.

Most of the other agreements are geared toward beefing up bioethanol production particularly for China's biofuel import from the Philippines as China has been embarking on investments in other Asian countries where it can source biodiesel and ethanol.

For the establishment of a 150,000 liter per day bioethanol plant in Palawan, a MoA will be signed between Palawan Bioenergy Development Corp., China CAMC engineering Co. Ltd., Guangxi Zuang Autonomous Region, and H & Z Trading.

Another bioethanol project is a joint venture between Negros Southern Integrated Biofuels Co., Nanning Yongkai Industry Group, Guangxi Zuang Autonomous Region (GZAR),a nd H&Z Trading. Nanning and CAMC will also have a separate bioethanol joint venture with the One Cagayan Resource development Inc.

Sugarcane and cassava will be tapped for feedstock under the Joint Development of Renewable Energy. The 40,000-hectare biofuel development will be signed by Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, and officials of China's GZAR.

Other MoA's are regarding post-harvest facilities that will be established mainly small mobile ice plant and transport facilities for municipal fishery cooperatives; breeding and culture of grouper and other higher value species; construction of shipyard, cold storage facility, upgrading of Navotas Fish Port, and the establishment of 35-hectare technology demonstration farm for sweet corn.

The rest of the MoAs will be on breeding and culture of abalone, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and scallops, establishment of greenhouses for flowers and off-season vegetables and fruits for export to Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and the Candaba Water Resource Project
MGR Archive 14.1.2007
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