A summary of the latest halal industry news from around the world.
Africa’s largest fertiliser plant opens in Nigeria
A $2.5 billion urea and ammonia fertiliser plant commissioned by the Nigerian government and backed by billionaire Aliko Dangote has opened on the outskirts of Lagos. The facility, the second largest in the world, has a capacity of 3 million metric tonnes of urea a year, reported CNN. "We are lucky to have this plant. It is coming at the right time with the Ukraine-Russia conflict as both Ukraine and Russia control substantial amounts of agricultural inputs ...This can help a lot of African countries. The export market is a seller's market," Dangote is quoted as saying.
Over the past five years, Nigeria produced 35 million bags of blended fertiliser. "Our import bill on fertilizer has not only declined significantly but we are also witnessing rising investment in the fertilizer industry, such as the one being commissioned today by the Dangote Group," the central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, is quoted as saying at the launch.
China has invested over $400 billion in OIC countries
China has invested more than $400 billion in nearly 600 projects across the 54 Organisation of Islamic Council (OIC) countries through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), reported the Times of Islamabad. Speaking at a OIC meeting, the Chinese foreign minister Wangi Yi said that "China is ready to work with Islamic countries to promote a multi-polar world, democracy in international relations and diversity of human civilizations, and make unremitting efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.”
Egyptian government sponsored food fair attracts crowds ahead of Ramadan
With food prices rising due to inflation and the Ukraine conflict, the Egyptian government is selling commodities at discounted prices in the week ahead of Ramadan. The Welcome Ramadan fair was opened by the prime minister and is carried out in cooperation with the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, reported Xinhua news agency. Beyond the Cairo event, some 8,000 stalls nationwide will sell low-price food commodities during and after Ramadan.
Australian halal beef exports to Indonesia set to rise
Australian halal beef exports to Indonesia declined in 2021, to $652 million, from $886 million in 2020, attributed to a drop in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indonesia imported some 500,000 head of cattle a year from Australia, equivalent to 62% of the country’s cattle and beef exports, reported ASEAN Briefing. Domestic production only accounts for 40% of Indonesian demand for beef, which is 2.23 kilogrammes per capita, compared to a global average of 6.4 kg. Demand is slated to grow this year in line with economic growth in Indonesia.
Olam Group to sell stake in Olam Agri to Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co.
Singapore-based commodity trader Olam Group is to sell a 35% stake in Olam Agri to the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. (SALIC) for $1.24 billion. A future IPO and demerger of Olam Agri is on the cards, reported the Poultry Site. "Our partnership with Olam will expand SALIC's international footprint and increase access to strategic commodities," said Sulaiman AlRumaih, chief executive of SALIC, which is a unit of the Public Investment Fund (PIF). Rothschild & Co advised on the transaction.
Food inspections rise ahead of Ramadan
Muslim-majority countries are enhancing food health and safety inspections ahead of Ramadan. In Doha, municipalities are intensifying inspection of food outlets, reported the Peninsula Qatar, while in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, 10 mobile courts are to be operational to ensure food safety, reported the Daily Sun. In Saudi Arabia, the Federation of Saudi Chambers of Commerce has denied reports that restaurants will be allowed to serve food during the hours of fasting, reported the Gulf News. Eating, drinking and smoking is to be prohibited from dawn to dusk.