Speaking at a conference in Ras Al Khaima last month, the firm’s chairman, Essa Al Ghurair, identified food security as one of the key challenges facing the GCC in the coming years. The firm has said it is working with the UAE government on food security issues, and is investing in food, agriculture and commodities businesses around the world.
Triple storage capacity
Al Ghurair Investment currently has silo capacity to store six months’ worth of grain for the UAE market, and the firm is planning to increase this to 1.5 years, according to the firm’s head of corporate affairs and communications, Sameera Fernandez, quoted in UAE news website Emirates 24/7. Along with 300,000 tonnes of silo space in the UAE, the firm also holds silos in Algeria, Sudan and Lebanon, and is planning to build a new silo facility in Egypt.
“Global warming, food security and sustainability are some of the focal issues that countries in the Gulf are trying to tackle. Food security could help socio-economic development and strengthen stability in the region,” said Al Ghurair, at the Third International Conference on Global Warming: Food Security, in Ras Al Khaima.
“As we embark on an exciting journey where our country prepares for the next phase of development to become a smart and happy nation guided by the Government’s Vision 2021, food security could help strengthen our ambitious journey ahead. Food security is a shared responsibility,” he added.
According to the company, Al Ghurair Investment set a record for food handling in the UAE for March, processing 301,750 tonnes of food commodities through its port facilities, transported on seven Panamax and two Supramax vessels. Along with its UAE facilities, the firm will also operate a food processing facility at Oman’s Sohar Port, as part of the port’s forthcoming US$170m agricultural terminal.
Al Ghurair also highlighted his firm’s Al Jabal Poultry Farm as a model of sustainability, with a full composting regimen, which also processes waste from other business units, and produces fertiliser, then to be sold on. The farm currently has a production capacity of 210 million eggs per year.
“As an environmentally friendly and sustainable business, we are working hard to reduce our electricity consumption with specific actions, we convert all our waste into fertiliser for the nation’s farms, gardens and municipal parks and green areas. This is one example of how Al Ghurair Investment creates additional value for the UAE society and the nation and the well-being of its consumers in a responsible and sustainable manner,” said Al Ghurair.