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Posted On: 30 October 2009 10:51 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Hassad Food eyes stake in Russian grain firm

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Qatar’s Hassad Food is eyeing a stake in Russian grain processing firm PAVA and has signed a deal potentially worth $1bn to develop land in Sudan as it looks to grow through acquisitions and joint ventures, its chairman said yesterday. The agricultural arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is bucking the Gulf Arab trend of buying farmland abroad to secure food supplies by investing in companies globally to help provide food security mainly for Qatar, the Middle East and North Africa region, Nasser Mohamed Al Hajri said. The firm also aims to conclude as many as six deals by year-end, including in Latin America, and is scouting Africa to set up joint ventures or buy firms to develop land. The company signed a joint venture on October 26 with the government of Sudan for an agricultural project that will initially see the cultivation of 20,000 acres of land in the north of Sudan and eventually expand to 250,000 acres. Hajri said the new company, Hassad Sudan, had a starting capital of $100m and could attract as much as $1bn in investments. The project will focus on growing wheat, corn and possibly soya, with 75 percent Qatari ownership. The company also aims to conclude “huge” deals with Brazil and Argentina before year-end, focusing on wheat, corn, soya and sugar as well as livestock.