>Cambodia positive about Kuwait agriculture proposals

>Kuwaiti PM and PM Hun Sen of Cambodia at the arrival ceremony of the Kuwaiti PM on 3rd August 2008.

Phnom Penh – A bilateral agricultural venture between Cambodia and Kuwait proposed during an official visit by Kuwait’s prime minister left Cambodia very positive about future cooperation, Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun said Tuesday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah left Cambodia Tuesday after a three-day official visit which covered a range of subjects, including technical assistance in oil exploration, proposed direct flights and even football friendlies.

But the most interesting topic for Cambodia was a proposal to exchange agricultural technology for a large area of land to grow food – probably rice – for export to the Gulf state, Chan Sarun said.

‘Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has asked me to join in discussions Wednesday to review the results of meetings with Kuwait regarding agriculture and examine the options,’ Chan Sarun said by telephone.

‘It is very interesting but I will know more after the meeting.’

Kuwait is oil-rich but largely covered in desert, making it difficult to grow enough food for its 2 million-plus residents.

Another Gulf state, Qatar, also made overtures along the same lines when its Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor al-Thani visited in March, and there are rumours that others in that region may follow suit.

Cambodia recently announced that drastic overhauls of its rice production techniques and improvements in infrastructure such as better irrigation and mills could boost it to become one of the biggest rice exporters in the region.

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