Saudis to invest $500 million in Brazil agriculture

Poultry farm in Brazil (Photo: Orlando Kissner/AFP)

Qatar News Agency | Tuesday, 05 October 2010

Sao Paulo: Representatives of Saudi group Agro invest, a public-private agricultural investment company, are now in Brazil seeking partnerships for producing and exporting grain and poultry.

The group's capital for investing abroad is US$ 500 million. "Brazil has lots of potential. It has good climate and good soil for grain and poultry farming. It is a good country to invest in," said businessman Mohamed Abdullah Al-Rasheed, the president of Saudi Greenhouses, one of the companies in the Agro invest group.

Agro invest, also known as the International Agriculture and Food Investment Company, was established last year as part of a Saudi government project to ensure food security and help stabilize prices on the local market, according to Brazil-Arab News Agency.

According to Rasheed, activities should begin in 2011, and for such, we must get to know the agricultural opportunities that Brazil has to offer. "We want long-term partnerships," he added.

Aside from Brazil, the group's companies are eyeing African, Asian and European countries.

Agro invest's main fields of interest are poultry, wheat, maize and soy. The group intends to establish several production-oriented partnerships both in Brazil and the Arab country.

As negotiations move forward, Rasheed claimed that the second step is sending a technical team to Brazil to assess the conditions for production and exporting.

Saudi Greenhouses is the leading greenhouse vegetable-growing enterprise in the Arab country.

"I am looking for a partner in melon production for distribution in Saudi Arabia," said the entrepreneur, who has 74 hectares of greenhouses for growing cucumber, tomato, sweet pepper and eggplant.

The Saudi businessman met on Monday with Brazilian companies in a meeting organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.

On the Brazilian side, the meeting was attended by the Association of Soy Growers of the State of Mato Grosso (Aprosoja), Ricardo Tomoczyk, who met with Saudis and claimed that they will do business for certain.

To the export manager of honey company Novo Mel, Carlos Rehder, and the director of trading company DGA, Gaspar Candioli, who maintain a partnership for selling soy and maize, the meetings were very good.

Both of them spoke with the president of Alsanie Trading, Abdullah Al-Sanie, who is looking for partners in the grain industry, especially soy and maize for animal feed.

The Alsanie group has four companies in Saudi Arabia. In the agricultural field, the group produces poultry and egg, and represents pharmaceutical products for animals, agricultural machinery and auto parts.

The group's poultry company, Al-Wadi Poultry Farms, has five farms in the country and capacity for slaughtering over 35 million birds per year. Nevertheless, Sanie wants to establish a joint venture with a Brazilian company to produce more chicken and supply the Saudi market.

"The coming of the Saudi delegation was very important. High quality companies and important people have come to negotiate with Brazilian businessmen," said the director of International Agribusiness Promotion at the Ministry of Agriculture, Eduardo Sampaio.

According to him, the soil, the climate and the abundance of water, coupled with the Brazilian technology and entrepreneurship, have led the country to become the leading producer and exporter of food, attracting investment opportunities.

Aside from purchasing land, Sampaio claimed that it is possible to invest in Brazil in different ways, such as contract farming, financial market mechanisms, stock market or partnerships.
  •   QNA
  • 05 October 2010
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