TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 7, 2012) - Feronia Inc. ("Feronia" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:FRN) today released its comments on the new agricultural legislation (the "Agriculture Law") enacted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ("DRC"). While it has been publicized that the Agriculture Law was designed to advance agricultural development in the DRC, it has garnered some controversy with respect to a provision which purports to limit foreign ownership of DRC farmland. Certain agribusinesses in the DRC have raised concerns that this provision may impede existing and new foreign investment.
The Company has been engaged in discussions with local counsel and various levels of government in the DRC with respect to the proper interpretation of the Agriculture Law. Based on such interpretations, the Company is of the belief that the Agriculture Law would not impede Feronia's operations in the DRC. In particular, as previously noted in its public disclosure documents, Feronia does not own the land in the DRC on which its farming takes place, but rather, through its subsidiaries Plantations et Huileries du Congo SARL ("PHC") and Feronia PEK sprl, holds concessions on land which is owned by the DRC government. The Company only owns certain parcels of land in the DRC on which the processing and storage facilities for its arable farming operations are located. No farming activity occurs on these lands. Further, Feronia controls 76.17% of the shares of PHC, while the remaining 23.83% of the shares are held by the DRC government.
Feronia will continue to seek clarification on the implications of the new Agriculture Law from local counsel and government in the DRC and will provide a further update when more information becomes available. However, the Company does wish to caution investors that if the final version of the Agriculture Law is interpreted by the DRC government to apply to the requisite ownership of concession rights held by the Company, it could have a material adverse effect on the value of its business and its share price.
About Feronia Inc.
Feronia Inc. is a large-scale commercial farmland and plantation operator in the DRC. The Company uses modern agricultural practices to operate and develop its oil palm plantations and arable farming business division. Feronia believes in the immense agricultural potential of the DRC for high-quality foodstuffs and edible oils given its ideal climate, excellent soil and highly skilled and experienced workforce. Feronia's management team is comprised of senior agriculturalists with extensive experience in managing both plantations and large-scale mechanized farming operations in emerging markets. Feronia is committed to sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and providing support for local communities. For more information please see www.feronia.com.
Except for statements of historical fact contained herein, the information in this press release constitutes "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities law. Such forward-looking information may be identified by words such as "anticipates", "plans", "proposes", "estimates", "intends", "expects", "believes", "may" and "will" and includes without limitation, statements regarding proposed capital expenditure; the Company's plan of operations and comparative advantages; plans regarding sowing rice and replanting oil palms; improvements in harvesting and collection; and positive trends regarding oil extraction rates. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from such statements. The forward-looking information contained in this press release is based on numerous assumptions regarding Feronia's present and future business strategies and the environment in which Feronia will operate in the future, including assumptions regarding expected crop yields, commodity prices, business and operating strategies, and Feronia's ability to operate its production facilities and plantations on a profitable basis. Some of the risks which could affect future results and could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information contained herein include: risks related to foreign operations (including various political, economic and other risks and uncertainties), termination or non-renewal of concession rights or expropriation of property rights, political instability and bureaucracy, limited operating history, lack of profitability, lack of infrastructure in the DRC, high inflation rates, limited availability of debt financing in the DRC, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, competition from other businesses, reliance on various factors (including local labour, importation of machinery and other key items, business relationships, and two refining factories), a shift in commodity trends and demands, vulnerability to fluctuations in the world market, the lack of availability of qualified management personnel and stock market volatility. See "Risk Factors" in the Company's annual management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2010. Most of these factors are outside the control of the Company. Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information. Except as otherwise required by applicable securities statutes or regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.