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ADQ launches Silal to enhance UAE's food and agriculture ecosystem

Staff Reporter /Abu Dhabi
reporters@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 14, 2020
Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, CEO of Silal. - Supplied photo

UAE has championed the enhancement of local food production through ag-tech.

ADQ, one of the region's largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises, announced the establishment of Silal - a new company in Abu Dhabi - developed to diversify food sources and increase locally grown, raised and manufactured food.

Designed to protect the overall food and agriculture sector and local farmers, Silal's efforts include the management of offtake programmes and strategic food reserves. Silal will also implement knowledge-transfer programmes related to desert farming technology and other R&D projects to support an increase in local production of fruits and vegetables from small farmers in the UAE.

Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, CEO of Silal, said: "Silal will facilitate sustained production, sourcing and distribution of essential foods in Abu Dhabi for the benefit of retailers, farmers and the community. The name Silal, which means "baskets" in Arabic, denotes the variety and abundance of produce that is at the core of what the new company will deliver. Our team will work collaboratively across the entire value chain to ensure an adequate, reliable supply of fresh and longer-life food items for our local communities."

Earlier this year, ADQ announced its acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Al Dahra Holding Company, a multinational agribusiness specialising in animal feed and essential food commodities. Agthia and Al Foah, which produce a range of food and beverages, are also part of ADQ's food and agriculture portfolio through Senaat.

The UAE has long recognised the importance of securing food supplies as a national priority. It produces nearly six million tonnes of food locally per year, reflecting its growing self-sufficiency in food production. The UAE has also championed the enhancement of local food production through 'ag-tech', and has taken strides to increase domestic food yield through bioscience, research and development (R&D), and technology-enabled food production.

Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi, chief investment officer at ADQ, said: "The creation of Silal helps to ensure that the UAE population has access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food at affordable prices. Silal also complements ADQ's existing investments in the food and agriculture sector as we seek to expand this important economic cluster. Under Jamal's leadership, Silal will benefit from his depth of industry experience as we deliver upon this key national initiative." - business@khaleejtimes.com

Staff Reporter


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