Beidahuang will invest $1.5 billion on Patagonian farms that it won’t own
Published: 09 Jun 2011
Posted in:  Argentina | Beidahuang | China
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Beidahuang State Farms Business Trade Group officials visiting Río Negro (Photo: Actualidad Río Negro)

Bloomberg | Jun 9, 2011 

By Rodrigo Orihuela

Heilongjian Beidahuang Nongken Group Co., China’s biggest farming company, plans to invest $1.5 billion to develop farms and expand a port in Argentina’s southern region to help ensure food supplies for 20 years.

The state-owned food producer and the government of Argentina’s Rio Negro province in Patagonia are working on an agreement to develop 300,000 hectares (741,000 acres) of land that are not being farmed, provincial economy development secretary Maximiliano Bruno said today at a press conference in Buenos Aires. Beidahuang’s Argentine representative Yue Gang Wong also participated.

China is the largest buyer of Argentine soybeans, the country’s main agricultural export, as well as soy-oil. China became Argentina’s third-largest foreign investor in 2010 and is expanding its presence in Latin America by investing in mining, oil and agricultural products as its seeks commodities supplies.

Under the accord, Beidahuang will finance farming of wheat, corn, soybeans, fruit and vegetables and the production of wine in Rio Negro without buying land, said Bruno. The company will also expand a hydraulic power plant and San Antonio’s port, where the produce will be shipped to China, Bruno said.

The investments, which may start as soon as this year, will be made over the next five to 10 years, said Oscar Gomez, project adviser to Rio Negro’s government. The agreement will last 20 years, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Buenos Aires at rorihuela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

Source:Bloomberg