One of the world’s largest hydroponic farms opens in Dubai; UAE to invest $2 billion in high-tech Indian food farms; UAE’s Agthia Group buys stake in Egypt’s Auf Group; Iran’s exports to Turkiye surge 192% in first quarter; Egypt’s food exports up 2% to $1.76 billion in 2022.
One of the world’s largest hydroponic farms opens in Dubai
One of the world’s largest hydroponic farms has opened in Dubai World Central, near the Al Maktoum International Airport, reported Gulf News. The Bustanica farm is part of a $40 million investment by
Emirates Crop One, a joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering and Crop One. The UAE daily reported that “the 330,000 square foot facility is geared to produce more than 1 million kg of high-quality leafy greens annually, while requiring 95% less water than conventional agriculture. At any point in time, the facility grows in excess of 1 million cultivars (plants), which will provide an output of 3,000 kg per day.”
UAE to invest $2 billion in high-tech Indian food farms
The UAE announced it will invest $2 billion to develop food parks in India to address food security in South Asia and the Middle East, reported Reuters. The investment was announced at the virtual summit attended by the leaders of the UAE, Israel, India and the USA – the I2U2 – with US President Joe Biden saying the move could "increase India's food yields in the region three-fold in just five years". Reuters reported that “the parks would bring farmers, processors and retailers together using advanced climate technology to minimise waste, conserve water and maximise crop yields, focusing at first on crops including potatoes, rice and onions.”
UAE’s Agthia Group buys stake in Egypt’s Auf Group
Abu Dhabi-based Agthia Group, a food and beverage companies, has approved a strategic acquisition of 60% of Auf Group, a specialised healthy snacks and coffee manufacturer and retailer in Egypt, according to a press release. Established in 2010, Auf Group processes, manufactures, retails and distributes a broad portfolio of products across Egypt including coffee, nuts, healthy snacks and other confectionery products sold under the ‘Abu Auf’ masterbrand. Agthia Group’s acquisition builds on last year’s acquisitions of GCC healthy snacks and food company, BMB Group, and the Al Foah dates business. The transaction will see Agthia acquire 60% of Auf Group, while Auf Group’s founders will retain a combined stake of 30% in the business and continue to lead the company with the full backing of Agthia’s regional footprint and operational support. Tanmiya Capital Ventures, an Egyptian private equity firm which invested in Auf Group in 2019, also remains a committed shareholder with a 10% stake.
Iran’s exports to Turkiye surge 192% in first quarter
The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) announced that that 3.07 million tonnes of non-oil goods, valued at $1.737 billion, were exported to neighbouring Turkiye in the first three months of the year, reported Post Online Media, an increase of 363% in weight and 192% in value compared to 2021. Bilateral trade reached 19.5 million tonnes of non-oil goods, valued at $11.4 billion in 2021. In total goods, Iran exported 15.7 million tonnes, valued at $6.1 billion, while Iran imported from Turkiye 3.7 million tonnes, valued at $5.3 billion.
Egypt’s food exports up 2% to $1.76 billion in 2022
Egypt’s food exports grew by 2% to $1.76 billion in the first five months of 2022, according to Food Export Council, reported Mubasher/Zawya. Arab countries accounted for $890 million, roughly 50% of export value, with Saudi Arabia the largest importer at $158 million, followed by the USA at $116 million and Sudan at $87 million. The European Union accounted for 20% of food exports, at $345 million, and “non-Arab African countries” at 7%, or $121 million. Exports to the UK were $32.9 million, up 14.5% on 2021.