“We are investing in land in Sudan, Pakistan and Egypt to secure food supplies without being at the mercy of market fluctuations,” Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd, Minister of Environment and Water, said at a conference in Dubai yesterday.
Alarmed by exporting countries’ trade restrictions, importing countries have realised that their dependence on the international food market makes them vulnerable not only to an abrupt surge in prices but, more crucially, to an interruption in supplies.
THE Qatar Company for Meat and Livestock Trading (Mawashi) is looking towards investing in Kurdistan since that region in Iraq is the source of Arabian livestock, which has a high demand in the region, an official said yesterday.
Sudan is seeking to attract at least $1bn of capital for its agricultural sector from Arab and Asian investment groups, which are turning to Africa in search of new food supplies as their governments try to manage the impact of commodity price inflation.
Even as it receives a billion pounds of free food from international donors, Sudan is growing and selling vast quantities of its own crops to other countries, capitalizing on high global food prices at a time when millions of people in its war-riddled region of Darfur barely have enough to eat.
As part of Doha’s efforts to ensure food security, Qatar and Sudan yesterday agreed to establish a joint holding company, which is expected to focus on agricultural investment, food industry and animal husbandry.
Global food shortages have placed the Middle East and North Africa in a quandary, as they are forced to choose between growing more crops to feed an expanding population or preserving their already scant supply of water.