Agriculture PIF’s newest target is the $15bn global dates industry By Pramod Kumar July 24, 2023 Wam Al Madinah Heritage Company will focus on promoting and distributing Ajwa dates locally and internationally Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has established a new company to improve the production capacity of Ajwa dates in the Madinah region and expand their global market presence. Al Madinah Heritage Company (MHC) will help develop the Saudi food and agriculture industry, driving the diversification of the economy in line with Vision 2030, the sovereign fund said in a statement. The dates market is estimated to be worth $14.98 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $17.60 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 3.27 between 2023 and 2028, according to research by Mordor Intelligence. Saudis want the world to wake up and smell their coffee Saudi’s wealth fund enters $7.3bn camel dairy market Food sector dominates new factories approved in Saudi One of the oldest fruits cultured in the Arabian region, the consumption of dates in other parts of the world has been increasing due to the emerging trend of healthy snacking. Ajwa dates are widely considered among the finest in the world, due to their high nutritional value and significant health benefits, and a rich source of fibre, protein antioxidants and other nutritious factors. MHC will focus on promoting and distributing Ajwa dates both locally and internationally, in addition to other date varieties to meet growing global demand. It will also contribute to the wider development of sustainable agriculture in the Madinah region by adopting the latest agricultural technologies. Majed Al-Assaf, head of consumer goods and retail in the Mena investments division at PIF, said: “Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most prominent producers and exporters of dates, and its products have always been of the highest quality, catering to wide consumer demand.” The dates industry is a key component of Saudi Arabia’s food and agriculture sector and has an important role to play in the realisation of Vision 2030, he added. PIF this month also established Sawani, a company to produce and distribute camel milk and other dairy products, in another bid to expand the kingdom’s food and agricultural sectors. 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.