- Emirates News Agency (WAM))
ABU DHABI, 9th May, 2022 (WAM) -- The industrial sector is a key pillar in the UAE's food security strategy and will help enhance food security in the future as the sector becomes increasingly advanced through the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.
That is according to industry experts who briefed Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, during a recent visit to the headquarters of Al Dahra Group, in Khalifa Industrial City (KIZAD).
Al Dahra Group is a prominent multinational leader in agribusiness specialising in the cultivation, production, and trading of animal feed and essential food commodities, such as rice, fruits and vegetables, and runs the largest rice factory in the Middle East. It operates in over 20 countries and caters to more than 45 markets in Asia and Middle East, employing more than 5,000 people.
Since its establishment, the company has achieved remarkable growth, leveraging an effective foreign investment strategy, which was manifested in a series of acquisitions and partnerships with food and feed producers around the world.
During the visit, Dr. Al Jaber heard how firms such as Al Dahra Group are key to not only strengthening the UAE's position as a global industrial hub, but also an important part of the country's overall food security strategy, which depends on resilient and agile supply chains.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber met with a team from Al Dahra Group led by Khadim Abdulla Al Derei, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Dr. Sulaiman Rashed Al Nuaimi, CEO-Government Relation, Hamdan Abdulla Al Derei, Chief Operations Officer of the UAE Division at Al Dahra Agriculture. He was accompanied by Omar Ahmed Suwain Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamsi, Managing Director and Group CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports.
He was briefed on the company's development plans, expansion opportunities, regional and global competition, and the advantages of being located in KIZAD. The industrial city in Abu Dhabi provides a strategic reserve stock that enhances food security, taking advantage of the UAE and Abu Dhabi's industrial incentives.
'In line with our government's vision, The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology is focused on stimulating the industrial sector and providing a clear supportive business environment for investors to enhance the contribution of the industrial sector to national GDP,' said Dr. Al Jaber.
'The agricultural sector is one of the vital sectors, given its pivotal role in strengthening national food security. We support all innovative projects and focus on ensuring a legislative environment that enhances their success and improves their quality and competitiveness.'
He stressed that industrial investments in the UAE are quickly transforming into regional and global success stories thanks to the country's continuous support for industry.
'We are entering a new phase where projects, start-ups, and small and medium-sized companies, have excellent opportunities for growth. The Ministry is working within an integrated framework with partners in the public and private sectors to support the growth of national industries and enhance their competitiveness, as well as providing financing solutions for business growth through strategic partners such as the Emirates Development Bank. The Ministry is also promoting the adoption of advanced technology and solutions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in a way that enhances the competitive advantages of national products in local and international markets,' Dr. Al Jaber said.
He praised the role of KIZAD and its ability to provide competitive advantages for companies.
The visit was part of the Ministry's efforts to directly communicate with its partners in the industrial sector, reviewing innovative industrial projects and ensuring an environment that contributes to enhancing the sector's success, based on the pillars of innovation, sustainability, and future foresight.
For his part, Khadim Abdulla Al Derei, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Al Dahra Group, said, 'The role of the factory is closely linked to the national strategy for food security in the UAE, which aims to develop a comprehensive national system based on the foundations of enabling sustainable food production, and identifies the elements of national food basket. The establishment of the factory in KIZAD was a sound decision, and the factory's location near Khalifa Port greatly facilitates imports and exports. Our factory benefits greatly from the integrated supply chain in KIZAD.'
He added, 'We thank the UAE and Abu Dhabi government and the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology for all the support we have received. We appreciate Dr. Al Jaber's visit and his interest in our ideas and plans. This ongoing support is essential in the success story of the company.'
Al Dahra Group owns 17 feed processing plants, 2 rice mills, 2 flour mills, fruit packaging facilities, and dairy farms. Its annual supply and trading capacity is 500,000 metric tonnes of rice, 500,000 metric tonnes of flour, 1 million metric tonnes of grains and fertilisers, and 150,000 metric tonnes of fruits and vegetables. The annual freight volume is 2.5 million metric tonnes, equivalent to 175,000 twenty food equivalent units (TEUs).
Serving a large customer base from government to commercial sectors, Al Dahra Group manages and operates a land bank of more than 400,000 acres, in addition to 15 state-of-the-art forage processing and balling facilities. Its rice factory extends over an area of 100,000 square meters. The full production cycle features automated milling, storing, packing and distributing. In addition, the Group has the capacity to produce and supply 3 million metric tonnes of alfalfa and grasses annually, catering for the needs of the dairy and cattle industries.
Al Dahra Rice Factory operates two mills with the capacity to process 260,000 tonnes and trade 500,000 tonnes of rice annually. The factory's production capacity for white rice is 20 tonnes, per hour, producing 120,000 metric tonnes per year. The factory has 40 silos with a total storage capacity of 30,000 tonnes. The storage capacity of the ready goods warehouse is 4,500 tonnes. The warehouse is fully air-conditioned to protect the stock from weather. The automated factory represents an advanced model of how technology can be incorporated into agriculture Its products are sold across the Middle East and Asia.
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