Korea To Grow Wheat in Sudan

CNN -- A large chunk of land in Sudan has been set aside for Korea to invest in crop production, the Sudanese ambassador said Monday.

Ambassador Mohamed Salah Eldin Abbas said 4.2 billion square meters of land in the northern region and 2.7 billion square meters in the central region have been prepared for Korea.

"We are expecting to start cultivation by the end of this year," Abbas said in an interview with The Korea Times.

The decision was unveiled three weeks after the Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Korean President Lee Myung-bak agreed on cooperation in agriculture, especially farmland for Korea, at their summit in Seoul in late May.

Lee first bandied the government's pursuit of farmland in the African country publicly prior to the Sudanese President's visit to Seoul.

What will start later this year will be a "pilot program." An area of 840 million square meters will be cultivated experimentally.

It will be a joint venture among Korean, Sudanese and Arab companies, the ambassador said. The type of crop to be grown is wheat.

The biggest country in the water-short African continent, Sudan is blessed with sufficient water supply thanks to the Nile River that flows through the country.