By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter
Hassad Food Company (HFC) can meet around 60% of Qatar’s total food needs as a result of the massive investments it has made abroad, top officials said yesterday.
The food produced and procured by the government-owned company comprises meat, poultry, fish, grains, sugar, vegetables, fruits and processed items, company chairman Nasser bin Mohamed al-Fahid al-Hajri told a media roundtable.
“Our company has expanded its global footprint over the last five years. We now have the capacity to provide for 60% of Qatar’s food requirements.”
The chairman gave an overview of the company that was established in 2008 with a mandate from the Qatar government to contribute to the country’s food security programme.
Al-Hajri said that studies to establish a new livestock market in the Umm al-Uwayna area had been completed and the land for it had already been allocated by authorities.
Also present at the media conference was HFC CEO Fahad Abdullah Turki al-Subaie.
HFC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qatar Holding which is one of the operating arms of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar.
HFC is focusing on three continents, Asia, Australia and Africa, for supplies in five key areas of meat, fish, wheat, rice and sugar. In Asia the company is active in India, Pakistan and Vietnam.
“In the next stage, we are eyeing investment opportunities in Europe, Canada and the Americas,” al-Hajri said.
He stressed that Hassad was also interested in investing in Arab countries, in particular Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Libya and Oman.
“We have the capacity of producing 100,000 sheep from our subsidiary farms in Australia and around 260,000 tonnes of rice and 150,000 tonnes of other grains annually. Hassad has around 350,000 heads of sheep in Australia and around 350,000 hectares of farms there mainly producing grains.
“Last week we received our first shipment of 28,620 tonnes of barley from Australia which meets 25% of Qatar’s total barley requirement”. Hassad supplies the local market through Widam Food Company.
The official said Hassad Food was also developing the necessary infrastructure to store grain and feedstock in the country.
“We are building a facility in Qatar to store 125,000 tonnes of food grain as well as building a central feedstock with a capacity to feed 80,000 sheep. We are also setting up a complex of 270,000-tonne capacity at Doha Port.”