Qatari food company Baladna has signed a $3.5 billion agreement with the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop the “world’s largest integrated dairy farming and production project,” according to a filing on the Qatar Stock Exchange.

The framework agreement, signed between the two entities, is targeting the production of powdered milk in southern Algeria.

Baladna will hold a 51% share of the venture, with the remaining 49% held by the Algerian State through its National Investment Fund, the company said.

The project will cover 117,000 hectares and will be segregated into three hubs, each comprising of an arable farming operation, a dairy and beef farming operation, and a powdered milk manufacturing facility. Baladna added the herd at the project will reach 270,000 with a production capacity of 1.7 billion litters of milk yearly.

The company further stated the project will meet 50% of Algeria’s demand for powdered milk and create 5,000 direct local jobs.

Baladna is touted as Qatar’s largest company for milk and dairy production, emerging in the global market after the 2017 GCC crisis. The company started trading on the Qatar Stock Exchange two years later.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Daniel Luiz)