Saudi Star Agricultural Development, a MIDROC Africa company, is supportive of the King Abdullah Food Security Program (KAFSP) for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The KAFSP aims to promote investment in overseas agriculture in order to ensure that the Kingdom has sufficient food available for its population. Mohammed Al Amoudi has responded by investing in Ethiopia where he has transferred significant capital resources to develop poorly utilized land to the benefit of both countries.
Saudi Star has initiated a major first phase project of 15,000 hectares which is planned eventually to cultivate an area up to 500,000 hectares in several further phases with significant investments being made in the cultivation of a variety of agricultural products. While contributing to the food security of the Kingdom, the project will provide enormous benefits to Ethiopia in terms of foreign investment, job opportunities and food. Around half of the increased production is expected to remain in Ethiopia for local consumption.
Investment by Saudi Star in agricultural production in Ethiopia represents an innovative approach that channels large-scale capital both into building a successful export agricultural sector and improving national food security and self-sufficiency. The aim is also to provide up to an additional 50,000 jobs with associated investment in social infrastructure.
The Financial Times undertook an in-depth investigative feature on March 1st, 2016, as part of a series on food security covering the issues raised by large-scale agribusiness investment designed to alleviate hunger in a sustainable way. It includes interviews with senior Saudi Star executives and managers that describe the Sheikh’s investment in Gambella. While the Sheikh does not endorse all of the views set forth in the article, it does provide relevant information related to Saudi Star’s work in Gambella.