Qatari dairy developing record milk powder plant in Algeria

28-05 | |
The project aims to meet 50% of Algeria's national demand for powdered milk. Photo: Canva
The project aims to meet 50% of Algeria's national demand for powdered milk. Photo: Canva

The Qatar-based dairy company Baladna Q.P.S.C. is going to develop the world’s largest integrated agricultural project with a herd of some 270,000 animals and an annual production of 1.7 billion litres of milk in Algeria.

Baladna has signed a framework agreement with the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The venture, held 51% by Baladna and 49% by the Algerian State through the National Investment Fund, will invest some US$3.5 billion dollars in the mega project which will cover 117,000 hectares and will be segregated into 3 hubs, each comprising of an arable farming operation, a dairy and beef farming operation, and a powdered milk manufacturing facility.

Powdered milk demand

The project aims to meet 50% of Algeria’s national demand for powdered milk, supplement the local market with red meat, create 5,000 direct local jobs, and contribute to the growth of the national cattle stock. It will also leverage modern technology and best management practices to enhance dairy farming efficiency, reduce production costs through economies of scale, and improve control over the entire value chain.

The Baladna project for powdered milk production is part of the Algerian state’s strategy to produce widely-consumed products in line with the national food security strategy.

Bolstering food security

Mohamad Moutaz Al-Khayyat, chairman of Baladna, says: “We are delighted to formalise this partnership between Baladna and the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. This strategic project is a cornerstone in fostering the growth of Algeria’s agricultural sector, driving the nation toward self-sufficiency, and bolstering food security, a critical global challenge that commands concerted efforts from countries and international entities alike.”

He added: “Baladna has a proven track-record of rapid and significant achievements in Qatar, having attained self sufficiency within a mere 12 months, courtesy of employing foremost international technologies and leveraging a wealth of expertise in the agriculture industry. It is with great anticipation that we aim to replicate this success in Algeria, encapsulating these valuable expertises to implement exemplary, sustainable practices on an international scale.”

Baladna dairy production

Baladna was established in 2014 and is Qatar’s largest dairy and beverage producer, supplying over 95% of the country’s fresh milk. The company’s plot spans over 2.4 million sqm and has a capacity to home 24,000 Holstein cows. The company has several production lines of fresh milk, evaporated milk, sterilised cream, yoghurt, laban, long-life milk, cheese, labneh, fresh cream, desserts, and non- dairy products, namely juices, meat and organic fertilisers.

As a listed company, Baladna last year reported a turnover of US$285.5 million, some 7.2% more than in the previous year. Net profit increased by 36% to €29.7 million, which represents a margin of over 10%. Baladna is continuously assessing opportunities to enhance its product mix by developing and introducing new, innovative products and strategically optimising its product portfolio, it says in the annual report.

During the year, Baladna has managed to introduce a number of new SKUs to the market including evaporated milk and sterilised cream, which were historically imported to the country. Furthermore, Baladna launched its first domestic production of an international brand and produces spreadable cheese for Bel Group under the brand names of La Vache Qui Rit and Jibnet Abu Al Walad.

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Peys
Ruud Peys International journalist
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