CHINA / National

Japan investors to tap China's farmland
Updated: 2006-05-30 14:03

Three Japanese firms, including two on the Fortune magazine's world top 500 list, have jointly contracted 100 hectares of arable land in east China's Shandong Province, to become the first foreign investors tapping China's farming industry.

Workers are erecting wooden stands to build green houses on the land in the outskirt of Laiyang City on Tuesday, which is known as one of China's grain production bases.

The new growers here are Japan's top brewer Asahi Breweries, and Itochu Trading Corp. and Sumitomo Chemical Co., the two on the Fortune list.

The land was leased from 800 local farmers with an annual rental fee of 12,000 yuan (1,500 U.S. dollars) per ha. a year.

The Japanese firms have registered their farming entity under the name of the Shandong Asahi Green Source High-tech Farm Co. Ltd. at the local bureau of industry and commerce.

The corporate farming business aims to use organic technology for high-end urban Chinese consumers.