The UAE controls more than 2,800 square kilometers [280,000 ha] in farms in Sudan -- more than triple the area of Bahrain -- as a result of its decision to invest in agricultural projects in fertile Arab nations to slash its soaring food import bill
Arab nations are considering launching an ambitious strategy involving investment of nearly $65 billion in the next 20 years to expand their farming sector and ensure food for their fast-growing population.
Tareq al- Zadjali, director general of the Arab Organization for Agriculture Development, wants to see more Arabs investing in agriculture within the Arab worlds’ borders rather than buying farms abroad in Asia and Africa.
AOAD Director-General Salim Allowzi said the private sector in the Arab World needs to step up investment in farming projects to cut the massive import bill, ensure enough farm products for the region and bolster food security.
Gulf oil producers need to set up agricultural projects in fertile Arab countries to achieve self-sufficiency and to bridge a massive farm deficit that exceeded $12 billion (Dh44bn) in 2006, a Gulf group said yesterday.