Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Agriculture Dept. backtracks on $3.8-B China agri dev’t deal

What's wrong with the agreement?

DA backtracks on $3.8-B China agri dev’t deal
In what seems to be a preemptive move amid the China ZTE broadband scam investigations, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has recommended the suspension of deals worth more than $3.8 billion with Chinese firms Jilin Fu Hua Agricultural Science and Technology Development Co. and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Government to develop one million hectares of land for hybrid grains and ethanol production.
DA Secretary Arthur Yap said he recommended the suspension of the memorandum of agreements (MoAs) with the Chinese firm for the project.
He, however, stressed the suspension has nothing to do with the ZTE Corp. and Cyber Education (CyberEd) contracts.
President Arroyo suspended the Chinese-funded national broadband network (NBN) project, which was awarded to the Chinese firm ZTE Corp., and the CyberEd project of the Department of Education (DepEd) amid allegations that these were tainted with corruption and bribery.
“This suspension is a unique case and has nothing to do with the ZTE and Cyber Education contracts. I just want more time for consultations with all stakeholders,” Yap said.
Jilin Fu Hua alone, under the deal, is expected to invest some $3.8 billion in the next five to seven years in the development of one-million hectares of Philippine agricultural land for hybrid corn, rice and sorghum.
The company has committed for the year to complete the cultivation of some 50,000 hectares of land for hybrid corn and sweet sorghum in several provinces in the Cagayan Valley region, and in the provinces of Isabela, Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan.
Daily Tribune. The rest of the story.

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