Agricultural firm signs agreement to help improve Jordan's food security
UAE-based agricultural firm Al Dahra said on Monday it had signed an agreement with Jordan for the provision of wheat and barley to improve the country's food security.
"We are providing 800,000 tonnes, 400,000 tonnes wheat and another 400,000 tonnes barley, over two years," Vice chairman Khadim al-Darei told reporters on the sidelines of the SIAL Abu Dhabi food exhibition.
The contract, which was signed around three weeks ago, is extendable for another two years, he said.
Darei said the provision of wheat would be made outside the traditional tender process but Al Dahra would have to assure that prices are competitive.
Jordan, a major wheat importer in the Middle East, has purchased around 650,000 tonnes of wheat this year.
Tougher tender terms introduced by Jordan this year have made wheat imports more difficult, putting centralised stocks under potential strain as international suppliers shy away.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has sought wheat in public tenders and announced cancellations due to a lack of offers for months.
"They may have found a way out with these contracts but I don't know if the same tough conditions in tenders will now be applied to them. If that's the case they will have a hard time providing the wheat," one Middle Eastern trader said.
Darei said the company was looking to sign contracts with other importers around the world after its partnership with the Abu Dhabi government proved effective.
"We are also looking to replicate this successful business model in Japan and in Saudi Arabia," Darei said.
Al Dahra is a privately held Abu Dhabi firm that trades and processes grains, and has also invested in farmland in a number of countries. It has a strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi government for food security.