International IFPA participates in the virtual Arab-African Business Forum on Agri-Food Products

Under the umbrella of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (“OIC”), the Islamic Centre for the Development of Trade (“ICDT”) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (“BADEA”) hosted a high-level dialogue, “The Arab-African Virtual Business Forum on Products of Food and Agricultural Industries” from 6th to 8th July 2021.

The Forum was inaugurated with keynote speeches from H.E. Dr. Ahmed Sengendo, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs of the OIC; H.E. Dr. Gabriel Ibrahim Mohamed, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Sudan; H.E. Mr. Souleymane Diarassouba, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire; H.E. Dr Fahad Aldossari, Chairman of the Board of the BADEA, and H.E. Mrs. Latifa Elbouabdellaoui, Director General of ICDT.

International Islamic Food Processing Association (“IFPA”) was invited to participate while its parent body the Islamic Organization for Food Security (“IOFS”) was one of the key partners of the Forum. The Director General and CEO of IFPA, H.E. Sheikh Bilal Khan presented in the key panel session entitled, “Obstacles to Trade Development of the Agri-Food Products” along with other notable speakers such as the Secretary General of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (“SMIIC”), H.E. Ihsan Ovut; the Global Lead Food Security Specialist of the Islamic Development Bank (“IsDB”), Mr. Ougfaly Badji; the Director of International Relations of Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (“ICCIA”), Ms. Aalia Jaffer; the Agricultural Economist of Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (“AOAD”), Mr. Salah Mohamed Elawad Salih; and the Director of Risk Evaluation and Legal Affairs at ONSSA of Morocco, Mr. Hamid Lachhab.

H.E. Sheikh Bilal Khan provided an overview of the key value proposition of IFPA and the strategic opportunities for the OIC institutions for collaboration. During his speech, he remarked that “virtual business forums have become the foremost platforms in driving business, trade and investment between OIC Member States, with important initiatives that strengthen growth and prosperity in the agri-food sector. IFPA is very keen to provide special services to facilitate financial and technical support for trade and investment-related activities aimed at promoting intra-OIC trade through specific interventions and dedicated Islamic trade finance and investment components.

H.E. Sheikh Bilal Khan shared poignant recommendations as outcomes of the panel session by stating that “IFPA recommends to work very closely with all relevant OIC institutions for development of intra-OIC agri-food trade and investment especially for IFPA to:

  1. strengthen public-private partnerships in agri-food sectors in OIC countries;
  2. utilise all trade corridors, free trade agreements and bilateral/multilateral treatises;
  3. closely cooperate with IsDB Group entities (ICIEC/ITFC/ICD) for cohesive and synergetic partnerships;
  4. join ICCIA’s mega agri-based forums, jointly create new agricultural commodities exchange markets and participate in Green Waqf initiatives and;
  5. through IOFS to join hands with IsDB Group to deal with the wider issues of food insecurity and robust governance framework”.

Given the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused the cancellation of exhibitions dedicated to the agri-food sector, this high-level dialogue has allowed everyone to focus on boosting cooperation as well as technical and financial assistance to promote trade and investment among the OIC Member States.

On the occasion of this Forum there were bilateral B2B meetings, an exhibition of participating companies, 15 scientific sessions with integrated 49 speakers and almost 600 exhibitors across the OIC countries. The Forum showcased a potential opportunity to promote the participants’ products and services, establish commercial relations and partnerships and explore investment opportunities. Projects and activities involving the growth of trade-related investment together with knowledge transfer and technology transfer were explored with the aim of growing the combined member base.

By way of examples, some key export opportunities in food sectors of Arab-African countries were particularly discussed by Mr. Hassan Sentissi ElIdrissi, President of Moroccan Federation of Fisheries Companies (FENIP); Mrs. Maimouna Diori, Director General of Niger Sahel Dairy Company; Mrs. Olga Yenou, Director General of TAFISA; Mrs. Fatou Cissoko, Director General of Fatou and Kadija SARL; and Mr. Guido Firetti, CEO of Demeter Agricultural Services and Management.

Key outcomes from this Forum noted importance of mobilizing and allocating resources to impactful investments in OIC countries, including recovery packages to overcome the adverse impacts of COVID-19. The Forum also addressed the key challenges limiting the business community and urged trade and investment authorities of the countries to nurture an environment where the parties can benefit from the opportunities that exist.

International Islamic Food Processing Association and Association of Producers of Soft Drinks and Juices of Kazakhstan discuss future cooperation

On July 2 2021, the International Islamic Food Processing Association (“IFPA”) held a meeting with the representative of the Association of Producers of Soft Drinks and Juices of Kazakhstan (“Association”).

The Association was established in 2002, bringing together 14 domestic and international enterprises of juice products, soft drinks and water, which account for more than 90% of the volume of products manufactured in the Kazakhstani market. The market of non-alcoholic beverages is currently one of the most attractive for investors. It is characterized by quick payback periods and high profitability, especially due to rapid population growth and a rising mid-income group which is supporting sales growth, with the health trend favouring juice and bottled water.

The Executive Director of the Association, Ms Aliya Mamytbaeva specifically mentioned: “Kazakhstan is an attractive sales market for beverage manufacturers. Foreign beverage companies have a strong market position in domestic production. Major producers include Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Red Bull and Libella, which are among the largest beverage producers. Domestic producers represented by Raimbek Bottlers Group, Riks and many other small enterprises. Kazakh companies have by now accumulated sufficient experience and knowledge to be able to offer products and services to high-quality standards. The Association aims to develop direct relationships for its members with IFPA to extend the growth of their export activities into OIC Member States.”

The Director General and CEO of IFPA, H.E. Sheikh Bilal Khan remarked: “IFPA is very keen to develop close cooperation with the Association to create special services in attracting Islamic investments and financing and provide assistance to increase the volume of exports of the soft drinks and juice producers with penetration into 57 OIC markets. We are looking forward to working with the beverage manufacturers to explore new niches in the healthy lifestyle subsector especially for the growing Muslim consumers as the global Islamic economy now stands close to trillions of dollars in value.”

The parties agreed to continue their mutual discussions to define the framework for future cooperation through organising joint conferences for their members.

International IFPA held a virtual conference with members of the Poultry Union of Kazakhstan

Representatives of the International Islamic Food Processing Association (“IFPA”) and Poultry Union of Kazakhstan (“Union”) jointly organised a virtual conference for the members of the Union to discuss critical issues of the poultry industry of Kazakhstan.  The theme of the event was “International IFPA Presentation and Business Opportunities for Members of Poultry Union of Kazakhstan”.

Poultry farming industry is one of the fastest growing agricultural segments in Kazakhstan. The industry has undergone a paradigm shift in structure and operation. It has transformed from a mere backyard activity into a major commercial and sustainable activity in just about few decades.  The Union as a non-profit organization integrates the largest producers of poultry meat of Kazakhstan who are the main suppliers of all production in the country.

The online conference started with the opening remarks of H.E. Sheikh Bilal Khan, Director General and CEO of IFPA who stated that “IFPA is ready to consolidate the efforts with the Union and its members to facilitate profitability of small scale enterprises in poultry farming industry and strengthen awareness of new technologies and methodologies in hatching and bird rearing that significantly boosts market growth and reduces wastage”.

Another important issue that was discussed during the meeting related to foreign direct investment (FDI). Poultry feed manufacturing, chicken hatchery and frozen chicken meat processing are considered lucrative fields of the investment opportunity and the related mutual cooperation will help promote poultry industry projects within the OIC member states and connect Islamic investors from the OIC markets to the poultry sector ofKazakhstan.

Mr. Ruslan Sharipov, President of the Union, remarked that “the Union looks forward to continuing to build fruitful cooperation to working closely with IFPA and to target different investment deals for its members in the poultry sector of Kazakhstan.”

The Director General and CEO of the International IFPA met with Chairman of the Union of Potato and Vegetable Growers of Kazakhstan

On June 9, 2021, International Islamic Food Processing Association (“IFPA”) held a bilateral meeting with the Chairman of the Union of Potato and Vegetable Growers of Kazakhstan (“the Union”) which is an association of organizations active in the vegetable and potato industry to coordinate activities and protect the interest of this industry. The 156 members of the Union cover the entire supply chain including producers, processors as well as suppliers of seed material, plant protection products, manufacturers of agricultural equipment and specialized equipment. This industry is demanding an investment on the farmer to develop the infrastructure of the farms.

The Chairman of the Union, Mr. Kairat Bissetayev shared about the possibility of building a potato processing plant in the Almaty region of Kazakhstan. After potato variety testing and identifing the region for the project construction of a substantial export-oriented factory, this major project will be fully realised and all the products will be export-ready for the OIC Islamic countries.

In his turn, H.E. Sheikh Bilal Khan, Director General and CEO of International IFPA stated that IFPA is very pleased to welcome the Union of Potato and Vegetable Growers of Kazakhstan as one of its key honorary members within the global OIC network of IFPA and through effective coordination and collaboration, they will help increase the contribution in attracting foreign direct investments and Islamic financing to boost the potential of the potato and vegetable sector for exports into the CIS region and the wider OIC markets.

 

AgroExpo Uzbekistan/ Agrotech Expo 2021, 28-30 June, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

In June 2021 Uzexpocentre will host the 15th edition of AgroExpo Uzbekistan AgroExpo Uzbekistan /Agrotech Expo, one of Uzbekistan’s leading exhibitions for agriculture and food processing industries. The exhibitions have a long-standing reputation as a platform for establishing cooperation between foreign producers and buyers from Uzbekistan. In 2016 the exhibition was visited by 5.608 visitors from all 12 regions of Uzbekistan and neighboring countries. The government, thus, provides special assistance and privileges to the exhibitors related to the customs clearance of products and technologies brought to the show. For more details, please contact the organizers https://agroexpouzbekistan.com/en/contact-us/
 
With around 32 million people, Uzbekistan is the most populated country in Central Asia. Therefore, providing continuous food security to its population through the sustainable development of agriculture remains a strategically important issue for Uzbekistan’s government.
 
Currently, agriculture is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy and the third-largest contributor to its GPD (17.6% in 2016). Due to the climatic conditions, as much as 85% of Uzbekistan’s agricultural land is irrigated. The most important crops are cotton and wheat, and significant other products include fruits (apples, apricots, peaches, and berries), vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, and potatoes), milk, silk, and livestock. The production of raw cotton, a traditionally principal agricultural product, has been substantially reduced, which freed up around 170,500 hectares of land. This land will primarily be used to sow potato and other vegetables, forage crops for feed production as well as horticulture crops.
 
Currently, Uzbekistan produces around 16 million tons of fruits and vegetables, the volume of which is expected to increase to 5 million tons by 2030. Nevertheless, only 15% of fruits and vegetables are processed in Uzbekistan, which entails a high degree of wastage and price fluctuations during on- and off-seasons. Furthermore, the capacity of refrigerated warehouses, which is estimated to be around 800,000 tons, needs to be increased because it is enough to only store 5% of the national harvest. The demand for modern machinery, processing equipment, and cooling technologies is, therefore, growing as the government aims to increase the efficiency of agricultural products.
 
Animal husbandry encompasses 40% of the total output of agriculture. During the last five years, livestock has increased by 21% including cattle by 7%, sheep and goats by 20%, and poultry 1.5 times. Today, almost 95% of livestock (or 10 million) is brought up in private smallholding and commercial farms. They produce more than 90% of the country’s meat, 95.7% of milk, and 54.8% of eggs. The number of breeding farms has exceeded 400, and they currently raise 99,200 heads of livestock.