PIF to invest $320 million in Saudi Coffee Company; India bans wheat exports; EBRD to bolster food storage capacities and developed food security plans in the MENA; Nigeria’s BUA Foods buys new ships to bolster sugar exports; Pakistan-Turkey-Kazakhstan biotech forum to be held.
PIF to invest $320 million in Saudi Coffee Company
The Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, has launched the Saudi Coffee Company, intending to invest SAR1.2 billion ($320 million) over the next decade, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The aim is to bolster production from 300 tonnes per year to 2,500 tonnes, and develop the whole value chain “from bean to cup”. Coffee consumption in the kingdom grew by 4% a year between 2016-2021 and is forecast to rise by 5% a year to 2026, to 28,700 tonnes, according to data cited by the SPA. In the three mountainous regions of Jazan, Al Baha, and Aseer there are more than 2,500 coffee plantations with a combined total of around 400,000 coffee trees.
India bans wheat exports
India, the world’s second largest wheat producer after China, has banned wheat exports following a severe heat wave that damaged crops. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, New Delhi pledged to export 10 million tonnes of wheat this year, but this has been put on hold, with the harvest expected to drop from 111 million tonnes to less than 100 million tonnes, Nasdaq reported. Whiel wheat prices have surged by around 60% this year, the World Bank is forecasting that wheat prices will reach a record $450 per tonne this year, a 42% rise on 2021. India will continue to export to countries with letters of credit already issued "to meet their food security needs,” reported Reuters. Egypt confirmed on Sunday that it will still be able to buy half a million tonnes of wheat from India.
EBRD to bolster food storage capacities and developed food security plans in the Middle East and North Africa
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is discussing ways to boost food storage capacity and to diversify food suppliers in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, Reuters reported.
The talks come in the wake of spiking food prices in the wake of the pandemic and the disruption to food exports from Ukraine. "We are in early discussions on what is needed on capital investment to boost storage facilities," EBRD Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Managing Director Heike Hargmart told Reuters. Additionally, the bank is involved with the World Bank to develop a regional food security mechanism plan for Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Iraq is in the process of becoming a EBRD member, while eight Sub-Saharan African countries are expected to join, Hargmart told Reuters.
Nigeria’s BUA Foods buys new ships to bolster sugar exports
Nigeria’s BUA Foods, a food group with operations in sugar, flour, pasta, rice and edible oil,has acquired two new ships to boost operations in West Africa, reported This Day. Nigeria’s sugar market is forecast by 3.5% CAGR between 2022-2027, according to Expert Market Research.
Refined sugar is processed at BUA Foods’ refinery in Port Hartcourt, with a capacity of 750,000 tonnes. In December, BUA’s five food businesses - Sugar Refinery Limited, BUA Rice Limited, BUA Oil Mills Limited, IRS Flour and IRS Pasta – were merged into BUA Foods. “We see an increased and continued demand for refined sugar across the region with attendant increase for logistics support to aid timely delivery, which is why it is important for us to strengthen our current capability with our own controlled asset as we advance further in our business strategy. These new vessels will create operational efficiencies in our business and open possibilities for new services,” said Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabi, Chairman, BUA Foods.
Pakistan-Turkey-Kazakhstan biotech forum to be held
A three day `Pakistan-Turkey-Kazakhstan Youth Forum on Biotechnology’ will be held in September to discuss ways to bolster the share of Muslim countries in the biotech space, APP reported. The event is sponsored by COMSTECH-the OIC Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) and the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF) under the theme “Agriculture Biotechnology”. Applicants can register online.