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$300m food processing complex planned for Egypt

Orange harvest season in Qalyubia Governorate, Egypt. The new processing complex aims to lead in orange concentrates Mahmoud Elkhwas via Reuters Connect
Orange harvest season in Qalyubia Governorate, Egypt. The new processing complex aims to lead in orange concentrates
  • $300m investment in complex
  • 5 different plants
  • 80% intended for export

An entrepreneur has revealed plans to invest $300 million in an industrial agriculture and food complex in Egypt.

Ahmed Abou Hashima has teamed up with partners from the US and Germany to lead the project through his Mafi for Agricultural Produce Industries company.

He said strategic collaborations have been established with JBT and Cabin Plant, makers of food processing equipment in the US, and Germany’s GEA, a machine tool maker.

The group has signed an agreement with Elsewedy Industrial Development, a subsidiary of Elsewedy Electric, to secure a 154,000 square metre plot in Sadat City near Cairo.

Hashima said the complex will comprise five food plants, including two of Egypt’s largest areas dedicated to orange and tomato concentrates and essential oils, and a freeze-drying facility for fruit and vegetables.

It aims to produce 100,000 tons of agricultural food in the first phase, doubling to 200,000 tons in phase two, in which turnover is estimated to be $400 million.

A signing ceremony was held at the Council of Ministers headquarters in Cairo in the presence of the prime minister Dr Mostafa Madbouly; Ahmed Samir, the minister of industry; and Hossam Hibah, the CEO of the General Authority for Investment.

Prime minister of Egypt Dr Mostafa Madbouly, minister of industry Ahmed Samir, CEO of the General Authority for Investment Hossam Hibah, and Ahmed Abou Hashima, founder and chairman of Mafi, were among those who held a signing ceremony for the new food plantMafi for Agricultural Produce Industries
Prime minister of Egypt Dr Mostafa Madbouly, minister of industry Ahmed Samir, CEO of the General Authority for Investment Hossam Hibah, and Ahmed Abou Hashima, founder and chairman of Mafi, were among those who held a signing ceremony for the new food complex

Hashima also holds a 10 percent stake in Beltone Financial Holding. His other business interests include Egyptian Steel, Egyptian Cement and the Egyptian Industrial Investment Group.

He said the complex will create 7,000 jobs and be geared towards exporting 80 percent of its production. 

“By generating significant employment opportunities, the project aims to contribute to the growth of the Egyptian economy while striving to achieve a balance between imports and exports,” he added.

International investment

Egypt has long struggled to attract foreign investors. Last July it introduced a new investment law, after announcing it intended to sell a raft of state assets to private investors to raise $40 billion over the next four years.

But investor sentiment remains lukewarm. Rating agency Capital Intelligence downgraded Egypt’s long term sovereign debt rating in September, saying delays in implementing structural reforms are stymying foreign direct investment. 

Since then, Baladna, the largest dairy food producer in Qatar, has announced plans to invest up to $1.5 billion in a farming project in Egypt.

The Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development aims to invest $100 million in Egypt’s agricultural and livestock production sector.

According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, farming accounts for 11 percent of Egypt’s GDP and employs more than one in four people.

However, recent periods of drought and water scarcity have affected agricultural productivity and food security. 

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