New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs says his country can be a logical partner for resource-rich Gulf countries as a producer of food in places like Africa, where experts say half of the potential agricultural land is under-utilised.
Wealthy Gulf Arab companies are boosting their investment in Africa's vast lands and untapped resources, marking a shift for investors who have traditionally directed their money towards assets in the United States and Europe.
Investors from the Arabian Peninsula are keen to get on the ground floor of the continent's real estate, agriculture, and energy markets
Food investment outside the GCC states needs to be reconsidered under global variables, particularly political and economic ones that may pose a major threat to the Gulf food security, according to the Federation of GCC Chambers.
- Oman News Agency
29 Aug 2012
Arab states should buy land in Kurdistan and Kazakhstan to produce staple foods to secure future food resources says a senior Arab League official.
The governments in the Gulf region are investing heavily in outside farmland acquisitions and leases besides injecting money into the domestic food production industry, according to an expert ahead of a major agriculture expo.
Whether it is customary land rights in Africa, struggles for land reform on the Philippines or resistance in Irian Jaya against settlers from the Indonesian population centers, once Gulf countries invest in a country they own its socio-economic conflicts.
The conference reviewed the experience of Al-Rajihi International Group in Sudan and Al-Kharif Investment Company in the field of food production as well as the National Company for Agricultural Production in Sudan.
Under agreements with exporting countries in Africa, Europe and East Asia, GCC countries can cultivate large areas, which will pave the way for stabilizing food prices on the one hand, and reducing inflation on the other.
In the face of growing economies and rising populations, food security is fast becoming a critical issue for GCC countries. Socio-political problems that arise from food price inflation and some related unrest witnessed in many countries of the Arab world have also created an added sense of urgency.
The GCC's food import bill stood at $25.8-billion in 2010, and will more than double to reach $53.1-billion in 2020, according to an Alpen Capital report.
As most GCC countries import most of their food, they are interested in investing in Africa’s arable land and establishing export-oriented farming businesses. However, GCC investors are increasingly aware of legal and political risks associated with such investments.
- FinFacts Ireland
16 May 2011