Hassad Food eyes stakes in agricultural firms abroad

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Chairman and Managing Director of Hassad Food Nasser Mohammed Al Hajri, centre, speaks during a press conference in Doha yesterday. (ABDUL BASIT)

The Peninsula | 8/20/2009

DOHA: With an investment worth more than $1m, Hassad Food, a company established to achieve current and future food security for Qatar, is considering taking stakes in agricultural companies in various countries. The company yesterday launched its head office in Qatar Navigation Building.

The company prioritising the need of Qatar will be trader friendly according to Nasser Mohammed Al Hajri, Chairman and Managing Director, Hassad Food. The company was established last year by the Qatari Investment Authority (QIA), to invest in existing agricultural businesses and projects around the world and re-export the produce where needed.

“Our aim is to ensure food security in Qatar, primarily, and also the world. In this way Qatar can do its share for the world. We aim to invest in various countries and make it a global venture. However, instead of buying the land from the people, we will invest in existing agri-firms and thus promote cultivation. With time more investments will be done,” Al Hajri said.

To attain this aim, the company is now searching for best partners through out the world. “We will use the best devices and experts in farming to develop the agricultural sector. Researches will also be done and the latest technology will be used. We are also in outlook for people who have cultivatable lands. ”

The company will launch a brand of its own which matches with the global standards. These products will first be marketed in Qatar and the exported as per the need. The product rates will be fixed and strictly monitored so that retailers do not make any foul play. This will be done both inside and outside Qatar to help the global market.

“Our agricultural projects will be done in three stages and the first one will be done quickly. This step will be to invest to provide basic food items like meat, wheat, sugar, soya and animal feeds. For this farming will be done in different countries. In the secondary stage, we will start cultivating vegetable and fruits, and in the third stage we will focus on the services like marketing, transportation and packaging,” he said.

The priority in business partnership and export will be given to Arabic and Islamic countries. “A big project will be launched in the near future between Qatar and Sudan. The budget is open as no minimum or maximum limit has been considered so it will be a big project.”
Original source: The Peninsula
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