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Agthia to build new reserve grain silos

By Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Agthia Group has begun work on a food complex with a flour mill and silos with a 50,000 tonne capacity to store wheat as part of efforts to ensure the UAE's food security, it said on Monday.

Like other Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates mainly relies on imports and had suffered when food prices spiked in 2008.

Boosting local produce and reserves has been kept high on policymakers' agenda's this year as prices of basic commodities hit record high last month, above 2008 levels, according to data from the United Nations food agency FAO.

The Al Wathba Mega Production and Distribution Complex project will be the new site for Agthia subsidiary Grand Mills, with a capacity to produce 400 tonnes of flour per day and will cost up to Dh50 million ($13.61 million), the company said in a statement.

The plant is set to begin operations in Q4 of 2011. The complex will include ten wheat grain silos for both Grand Mills' needs and the government of Abu Dhabi food security needs.

The silos will be owned by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and managed and operated by Agthia once completed in 2012.