Qatar to Invest $500 Million in India

Hassad Food Co., the agricultural investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, will invest up to $500 million in India.

The investment will be in the production of rice, coffee, cardamom and “ready-made foods,” Chairman Nasser Mohamed Al Hajri told reporters today in Doha. Hassad said on April 3 that it agreed to buy a majority stake in Bush Foods Overseas Ltd., which owns basmati rice brands Neesa, Himalayan Crown and Indian Star.

Hassad is seeking to secure supplies for Qatar through buying agricultural land and investing in food-production companies abroad. The company has focused on ventures in Asia and Africa and owns sheep farms in Australia. Qatar, the richest country in the world per capita, imports most of its food.

Hassad’s future focus will be on North America, South America and Europe, Al Hajri said. “There will be something invested in Canada for grain production,” he said, adding that he hopes for an investment this year or early next.

Hassad also seeks to invest in a sugar venture in Latin America this year after studying Brazilian sugar producers over the past two or three years, he said. The company is also interested in South America for grains, red meat and poultry.

Hassad’s global investments total $1 billion, Al Hajri said. The company produces 100,000 sheep, 150,000 tons of grain and 260,000 tons of rice a year, he said.

(Corrects first paragraph of story published June 9 to clarify that $500 million will be the company’s total investment in India.)
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