Qalaa Holdings to plough $24mln into farms venture

Egyptian investment firm's founder says $30mln has already provided for Dina Farms' development

Dina Farms cows

Dina Farms cows

Dina Farms / Handout via Zawya

Qalaa Holdings, the listed Egyptian investor into energy and infrastructure ventures, is planning to plough a further 400 million Egyptian pounds ($24.09 million) into its Dina Farms venture over the next three years, its founder has said.

Dina Farms is already Egypt’s biggest private sector farm with a footprint of around 10,000 acres and a herd of over 17,000 cattle, but the company told journalists during a media visit that it is planning a new phase of growth that will see milk and yoghurt production capacity double. The improvements include the addition of a new yoghurt production line.

“The new investments will be pumped in to serve milk production operations, increase the planted areas and to execute solar plants in order to use clean energy in our farms,” Ahmed Hiekal, Qalaa Holdings’ chairman and founder told Zawya on the sidelines of the tour. He added that the company has already invested 500 million pounds on the farm to date.

Dina Farms is currently focusing on four integrated business sectors: agriculture, livestock, dairy manufacturing and a farm retail outlet.

Dina Farms was originally acquired by Qalaa Holdings in 2007 but has grown to become Egypt’s largest producer of fresh milk. The dairy farm was originally established in 1987 with 300 Holstein Friesian heifers. By the end of this year, it will have 17,194 heads of cattle and 8,529 milking cows.

Image supplied by Dina Farms.

Hiekal added that Dina Farms plans to continue growing its herd and is undertaking several initiatives to improve milk production, including the installation of curtains and cooling systems at milking stations.

ICDP, a subsidiary of Dina Farms that markets and distributes the company’s fresh milk products, has experienced steady growth since its establishment in 2010and now controls around 70% of the fresh milk market in Egypt.

The company is also looking to grow its range of agricultural products, with a key priority being the production of in-house animal feed with a view to achieving85% self-sufficiency by 2020

Qalaa Holdings’ investments in the agrifoods sector began in 2007 and were geared toward overcoming agricultural and food production challenges in Egypt.Although it has divested much of its portfolio in agrifoods, its strategy has been to consolidate and specialise within certain markets, such as dairy farms. Qalaa Holdings’ ownership of Dina Farms is held through its agrifoods

Qalaa Holdings’ investments in agrifoods are held under a company known as Gozour.

(Reporting by Marwa Abo Almajd; Editing by Michael Fahy)


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