RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has set up a company to promote the growth of camel milk products and contribute to the development of a sustainable local production system.
The company, Sawani, is the latest step in the Kingdom’s efforts to support the agriculture and food sector, and diversify the local economy in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
Camels have long been an important food and natural resource in the region, providing milk, meat and hides, while camel products play a central role in many customs.
The new initiative aims to preserve this natural wealth and expand its sustainable utilization using the latest technology.
There are an estimated 1.6 million camels in the Kingdom, with more than half this number in the Riyadh, Eastern and Makkah provinces. The best milk-producing breeds are Al-Mujahim and Al-Wadh.
Three licensed projects are now specializing in camel milk and its derivatives, while three other initiatives have been granted preliminary licenses to manufacture consumable camel milk products.
The latest efforts will also counter the indiscriminate supply of camel milk, and increase availability of camel milk products.
Ibrahim Al-Aqili, executive director of the Food Industries Institute, told the Saudi Press Agency that Sawani’s investment will promote the growth of the camel industry and develop a sustainable local production system.
It will also strengthen and consolidate food security, he said.
Al-Aqili said that one of the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 is to strengthen local industries and human resources, as well as industries related to livestock, including camels, which are considered a national heritage.
Shujaa Al-Bogmi, an associate professor at Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University, said that Sawani’s investment in the camel industry will have a noticeable impact on its growth.
“Camel products are a very good economic resource, and Sawani is expected to have more robust and vibrant competitive advantages, based on many important pillars, such as the Kingdom’s geographical location, investment power, and the great efforts of the Camel Club, as well as the abundance of camels due to the interest of many citizens in this enormous wealth,” he said.
Economic data shows there is a healthy international market for camel products, Al-Bogmi said.
Sawani will raise production standards of items made from camel milk, he added, leading to increased demand in the Gulf region due to the presence of a more reliable company.
“Saudi Vision 2030 has opened up boundless horizons for investors and entrepreneurs in all sectors,” Al-Bogmi said.
The camel products sector will play an important role in future in terms of investment potential, contributing to the national economy and providing job opportunities, he added.
Camel milk is known for its high nutritional value. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization has endorsed products made from camel milk, which is superior to goat and cow’s milk in terms of protein, vitamins and minerals. Camel milk is also a rich source of essential nutrients and unsaturated fatty acids, and also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.