UAE investor to develop $500mn agri-food group in Romania

UAE investor to develop $500mn agri-food group in Romania
By bne IntelliNews April 23, 2018

The Al Dahra Group of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) wants to purchase nearly 60,000 hectares of agricultural land along the Danube River, develop a logistics company including water and road transport and build a tomato paste production facility in Romania, representatives of the foreign investors told Ziarul Financiar daily.

Gulf companies have been buying up large swathes of farmland in other parts of the world for many years now, as they seek to ensure food security, a process that has intensified in the UAE recently amid the rapid depletion of groundwater. 

"We want to invest $500mn in agriculture, logistics and food processing. Agriculture and logistics will account for 80% of the investment, while food processing will account for the remaining 20%. The investments in agriculture will be in the production of cereals, more precisely lucerne — which is the backbone of the dairy industry,” Mohamed Hassan, business development director of Al Dahra Holding, said.

Al Dahra is in advanced negotiations on the acquisition of Agricost, the largest grain farm in Romania by cultivated area, spanning about 56,000 hectares of land in the Big Island of Braila on the Danube, ZF daily reported, quoting unofficial sources. Al Dahra representatives did not confirm the deal, though.

"We are looking for opportunities. There are many opportunities in Romania. […] You have many farms in Romania, not only Agricost," Mohamed Hassan said.

Al Dahra is a company registered in Abu Dhabi and it is part of Al Ain Holding, founded by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Al Dahra operates in agriculture (cereal cultivation, production and trading) with two divisions: animal and human food, namely rice, flour, fruit and vegetables.

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