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Agriculture news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Photography, Clothing, Glove Qatari origin urea will be supplied to the agricultural sectors of the US and other international markets

Qatar signs 15-year urea supply pact with US company

Qatar, the world’s second-largest exporter of urea, has signed a long-term urea supply agreement with US-based Koch Fertilizer.  The 15-year agreement, starting in July, will lead to the supply of up to 0.74 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of urea, state-backed QatarEnergy said in a statement. Locally manufactured urea will be supplied to the agricultural […]

Saudi arabia water

$4bn set aside for Saudi water projects

Saudi Arabia will spend $4 billion by the end of the decade on recycling over 2 billion cubic metres of water, about 70 percent of the country’s renewable water sources, an official said this week.  Speaking at the World Water Forum in Indonesia, Mohammed bin Zaid Abuhid, head of the General Authority for Irrigation, outlined […]

An orange vendor in Cairo. The country will export 2 million tonnes of oranges this year

Egyptian agricultural exports hit record levels

Egypt exported a record 7.5 million tonnes of agricultural produce last year, compared with 6.4 million tonnes in 2022 and 5.6 million in 2021. The total value of agricultural exports in 2023 was $8.8 billion, according to minister of agriculture and land reclamation Al Sayed Al Quseir. Egypt’s total number of export partners has increased […]

Beekeepers in Mannouba, Tunisia. The country has 305,000 hives

Tunisia’s honey production hit by global warming

Almost three-quarters of beekeepers in Tunisia have seen their honey production curtailed by climate change. The North African country has 305,000 hives tended by 13,000 beekeepers, according to Hassene Ben Salem, chief engineer at the Office of Livestock and Pastures. But he said extreme weather conditions have almost halved honey production, from an average of […]

The Saudi Coffee Company launched a model farm in Jazan in November 2023 and will invest SAR1 billion ($270 million) in the sector over the next decade

PIF unit launches first Saudi coffee producer

Saudi Arabia’s coffee exports are poised for major uplift as a unit of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, received approval to set up the country’s first coffee-production unit. The Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu President Khalid Al-Salem granted the Saudi Coffee Company a license to establish a coffee-production factory […]

Mubadala Brazil Brazilian biofuel

Mubadala to invest $13.5bn in sustainable biofuels in Brazil

Mubadala Capital is to invest $13.5 billion in biofuels in Brazil.  Its chief investment officer and head of Brazil Oscar Fahlgren told the Financial Times that the scheme to produce renewable diesel and aviation kerosene using mainly non-food plant matter is “a very important capital project”.  Mubadala is the second-biggest sovereign wealth fund in Abu […]

Workers stacking hay on a farm in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. Agriculture contributed AED3.5 billion to the UAE's GDP in 2023

Emirates Development Bank to focus on farmers, says CEO

Emirates Development Bank is prioritising food security this year, its CEO has told AGBI, and has billions of dirhams ready to lend to the UAE’s farmers. Food security is one of the five funding pillars of the state-owned EDB, which provides loans and resources to large corporations, SMEs and startups. The bank has a mandate […]

The Baladna project is intended to produce 1.7 billion litres of milk a year from 270,000 cows

Baladna lines up $3.5bn Algerian dairy venture

Baladna, the largest dairy food producer in Qatar, is exploring plans for a $3.5 billion venture in Algeria that will be based on a herd of more than a quarter of a million dairy cows. The company has signed a framework agreement with the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to set up what […]

Over 400 global food brands are taking part in the SaudiFood Manufacturing show in Riyadh this month

Saudi Arabia’s food factory count rises to 1,300

The total number of food factories operated by the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (Modon) has reached 1,300, across 36 cities. The increase signifies the growing capacity of the domestic food industry and its localisation efforts, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. Food industry companies have recorded a growth rate of more […]

farmoing robotics UAE

Agricultural robotics centre planned for the UAE

Khalifa University of Science and Technology and agri-food giant Silal plan to create a centre of excellence for farming robotics in the UAE. The proposed research centre, to be located at Silal’s Innovation Oasis site in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, will feature a dedicated autonomous greenhouse equipped with various robotic platforms, sensors and Internet of […]

Beekeepers in Jizan province, Addarb, Saudi Arabia. The industry has set a production target of 7,500 tonnes of honey per year by 2026

Saudi Arabia aims to double local honey production

Saudi Arabia has invested SAR140 million ($37 million) to support its nascent rural honey industry, the government said this week.  The country has raised subsidised production by 41 percent since 2021 and wants to double output by 2026.  The Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program, known as Reef Saudi, said its funding supported over 10,500 people […]

A coffee farmer in Addayer, Jazan. The southwest Saudi province has 54,000 coffee trees

$16m pumped into coffee farms as Riyadh chases lofty target

Saudi Arabia has invested millions of dollars in the development of the local coffee sector over the past four years, but it is still 80 percent off its production target for 2026. The Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program (known as Reef Saudi) has allocated a total of SAR61 million ($16 million) to support over 3,700 […]

Lebanon's caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati has called for 'immediate assistance' from UN agencies

Lebanon PM to declare ‘agricultural disaster zone’ in south

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati is to declare the south of the country an “agricultural disaster zone” as the conflict in Gaza batters Lebanon’s beleaguered economy. Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Mikati called for “immediate assistance” from UN agencies and Lebanon’s international partners to help the country overcome the impact of a […]

Singapore's Olam Group said Islamic financing gave it access to a new investor pool

UAE investors join Olam Agri’s $625m Islamic facility

Investors from the UAE are part of a global consortium providing Singapore’s Olam Group with a $625 million sharia-compliant financing facility. Other investors are from Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, the company said in a statement. Names of the investors were not disclosed. The facility, initially guaranteed by Olam Group, will transfer to Olam Agri […]

Graderco's annual grain business represents over 25% of Morocco’s imports

UAE’s Invictus buys 60% of Moroccan grain trader 

Invictus Investment Company has acquired a 60 percent stake in Morocco’s largest grain trader, Graderco, and its subsidiaries from Zalar Holding.  The deal will lead to 20 percent growth in consolidated revenues over the nine-month post-acquisition period, said the Abu Dhabi-listed company. Invictus reported revenue of AED8.1 billion ($2.2 billion) and 5.4 million metric tonnes in […]

Foxtail millet could help Gulf food security

Oman invests $4bn in food projects and agriculture

Oman is working on 137 food projects, with a total investment of OMR1.6 billion ($4.2 billion), according to a local media report. The government has unveiled initiatives such as agricultural cities and integrated agricultural plans to address land issues, Oman Daily Observer said, quoting the minister of agriculture, fisheries and water resources Dr. Saud bin […]

Adult, Male, Man tomatoes hydroponics Saudi Arabia Dava agriculture

Hydroponics allows family to become first Saudi tomato exporter

A family company has become the first exporter of tomatoes from Saudi Arabia, thanks to drip irrigation, which has made sending fruit and vegetables from the Gulf to lucrative European markets economically viable.  Dava, a private company set up by the Batal family in 2017, began exporting various types of tomato and “snack peppers” – […]

The UN estimates that earthquake damage will affect more than 20% of Ankara’s agri-food exports

Turkey’s agricultural sector gets $50m boost from Opec Fund

The Opec Fund for International Development (Opec Fund) has extended a $50 million loan to Turkey to support its agricultural and food production sectors in 11 cities severely impacted by earthquakes in February 2023.  The Development and Investment Bank of Turkey (TKYB) will lend the funds to small and medium-sized enterprises to promote a more […]

A worker threshes harvested wheat at a farm in Tunisia. The government has supplied wheat seeds to more than 16,000 small-holder farmers.

Tunisia secures $520m in loans to attack food crisis

The World Bank has approved loans worth $520 million to address Tunisia’s food security challenge, but experts are calling for the government to devise a new long-term policy. A loan of $300 million will supplement the Emergency Food Security Response Project, which aims to minimise the impact of four consecutive years of drought in Tunisia, […]

Almarai will invest SAR5 blllion to expand existing categories such as bakery, dairy and juices

Almarai’s $4.8bn push to advance Saudi food security

Almarai, the Middle East’s largest dairy farm, will spend more than SAR18 billion ($4.8 billion) under its new five-year strategic plan to achieve food security, which is part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 goal. “Investment in the food industry contributes to achieving food security in the kingdom and the region,” the company said in a […]