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Feronia completes largest single rice planting in Congo

Feronia completes largest single rice planting in Congo

Feronia (CVE:FRN) said Wednesday that its arable farming division has finished planting 1,200 hectares of rice in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the largest single rice planting.

The company holds a 10,000-hectare concession in the Bas-Congo province of the DRC, located about 200 kilometres from the nation's capital, Kinshasa.

Feronia said it cleared 2,000 hectares of land to plant two varieties of rice - NERICA-4 and NERICA-7 - on 1,200 hectares. The operation was full mechanized, using John Deere and Massey Ferguson tractors, it said, and soil acidity was corrected using locally-sourced lime.

The company said it expects to harvest and process the rice in February 2012. After that, it will replant the land with edible beans, which will be harvested in May 2012.

Feronia COO Raymond Batanga said: "This is an exciting milestone for Feronia's arable farming operations. We have proven that we can source all the necessary inputs and equipment and mobilize the required expertise to implement large-scale mechanized farming in the DRC.

"While we had planned to reach 2,000 hectares on our first large-scale planting, a delay in the arrival of our large horsepower tractors meant that our larger drills were not utilized throughout the entire sowing period and fewer hectares were sown.

"We are confident that this will not be an issue in our next rice planting season and are pleased to have completed the largest single rice planting in DRC - a huge milestone for Feronia's arable operations."

Feronia's focus is on its arable farming operations and oil palm operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa.

It employs Brazilian and US-style agriculture systems at its arable operations for the greatest efficiency and economies of scale.

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Article
May 31 2012

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