An Italian farmers group is mulling investment in the Timisoara, Romania-based meat processor Comtim, according to Ilie Sarbu, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forests.

Sarbu revealed on Tuesday that the National Association of Agricultural Farmers, based in Trevisa, Italy, was also interested in investing in the agricultural areas surrounding the country's capital, Budapest.

He is quoted in Romanian newspaper Rompres as saying: "The Italians plan to invest some US$100m-150m from animal breeding - particularly cattle - up to turning the meat and milk output to account."

"Under such circumstances," he added, "It only seems fair to me that they be interested in holding at least 1,200-2,000 hectares of land."