Qatar to invest $500-700 mln in food security projects

20:51, June 01, 2010      

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Gas-rich Qatar has planned to earmark 500 million to 700 million U.S. dollars this year to buy and lease farmland across the world for wheat and livestock production to guarantee its food security.

Hassad Food Company, operated by the emirate's sovereign wealth fund, will select countries to honor that strategy, which was also pursued by its Gulf peers that are heavily reliant on food imports.

"Our five pillars are production and supply of rice, sugar, grain, meat and animal feed," chairman Nasser bin Mohamed Mubarak al-Fuhaid al-Hajri was quoted as saying by the Gulf Times on Tuesday.

Initiated destinations for the above-mentioned investment includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Georgia, India, Turkey, Sudan, among others.

Hassad Food, founded in 2008, formed a Sydney-based subsidiary last year for the acquisition of farmland and introduction of Awassi lamb (large framed, fat tailed sheep mostly grown in Mideast countries) breeding program.

"Similarly, we have established subsidiaries in Sudan and Turkey to facilitate targeted investment, and 2010 will be the year of execution of the strategic investment plan," al-Hajri said.

Gulf nations have beefed up efforts to buy and lease farmland in developing countries and export produce back to ensure food supply after inflation reached double-digit levels in 2007 and 2008.

Qatar, the world's top liquified natural gas exporter, saw its inflation soaring to a record 15.2 percent in 2008 and containing that momentum remains a headache for the authorities. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:燕勐)

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