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Saudi’s wealth fund enters $7.3bn camel dairy market

Saudi camel dairy Reuters
Sawani will work with other private sector partners to boost camel dairy production capacity
  • Sawani is part of kingdom’s efforts to grow camel farming industry
  • Company to focus on production and distribution of products 
  • Global camel dairy industry forecast to be worth $9bn by 2028

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has established a company to produce and distribute camel milk and other dairy products. 

Named Sawani, the company is intended to help PIF grow the kingdom’s camel farming industry, in line with Vision 2030 goals to expand the food and agricultural sectors. 

The global camel dairy market was estimated to be worth $7.3 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow by more than 3 percent annually to reach $9 billion by 2028, according to research by Imarc Group. 

Camel milk is more expensive than cow’s milk due to the much lower production rates, and because camel breeding costs are also higher, the research said. 

However, its proponents say it has significant health benefits, including being lower in fat than cow’s milk and higher in iron, vitamin C and other nutrients. 

PIF wants Sawani to be a “leading producer of camel dairy products”, helping to grow the industry sustainably and diversify the kingdom’s economy in line with Vision 2030, the sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday.

Sawani will work with other private sector partners to boost the industry’s production capacity and improve standards in the domestic production ecosystem, PIF added.

The company will do this by modernising operations, localising knowledge and expertise and investing in new technologies.

It will also seek to promote the history and cultural heritage of camel husbandry – breeding and conservation – within Saudi Arabia.  

“Saudi Arabia has extensive experience and knowledge of the camel dairy industry and enormous potential to expand its operational capabilities and wider ecosystem,” Majed Al Assaf, head of consumer goods and retail in the Middle East and North Africa investments division at PIF, said.

“These factors represent a competitive advantage across the entire supply chain, which, alongside investment, will enable significant growth of the industry, and eventually lead to the export of camel dairy products, which have many nutritional benefits, to regional and global markets.”

Among other investments in the food and agricultural sector, PIF last year set up Saudi Coffee Company, which promotes Saudi Khulani coffee beans, and the Halal Products Development Company, which invests in the halal sector. 

Since 2017, PIF has established 84 companies in 13 strategic sectors.