The Arab world is characterized by a large agricultural potential with agricultural lands reaching an area of 197 million Hectares
. Despite this large area, only 27% of this land is actually utilized. The agricultural labor force is an estimated 27.4 million people and agriculture represents 5.6% of the Gross Domestic Product. The food gap by the end of 2014 was estimated around USD 34.1 Billion and is focused on certain products of which the most important are seeds representing 53.6% of the total food gap followed by meat 16.5%, Vegetable oils at 11.4%, dairy products at 9.5% and sugar at 9%. These figures are indicative of the vitality of the agricultural sector and the large socio-economic benefits that can be derived from investing in food security as means of attaining sustainable development.
The Arab Member states have exerted considerable efforts in developing the agricultural sector by encouraging investment, granting benefits and concessions, supporting infrastructure and creating an overall attractive investment climate. Reinforcing food security to address this food gap through agricultural investment is AAAID’s primary activity and it relies on studies and the establishment of new companies to mobilize the Arab agricultural sector. This mobilization is further supported by steering financial resources towards maximizing productivity and encouragement of agricultural exchange between Arab member states. To achieve this, AAAID has established a number of agricultural companies operating in agricultural production and services, animal production and agricultural processing in order to enhance food security in the Arab world.
The Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID) is an independent multilateral financial institution established in 1976 in Sudan with the vision of achieving food security in the Arab World. Its Head Office is located in Khartoum, Sudan with a Regional office located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AAAID has 21 member states who have collectively contributed an Authorized Capital of KD 336 Million (1.107 Billion US Dollars), its Paid up capital is KD 172 Million (USD 566 Million) as of December 31st 2015. Membership to AAAID is open to all Arab countries that contribute to its capital. AAAID engages in a range of Agricultural Investment activities including plant processing, animal production, agricultural processing and other related activities. By enacting its core mission of reinforcing food security, AAAID has been and remains a strong contributor to the region’s sustainable development and has succeeded in improving the lives of thousands of people through the support of income-generating activities and provision of revolving loans to small-scale producers. AAAID further provides production services, research and development programs, technology transfer, training and capacity building activities in targeted communities. This is line with its commitment to the well-being and prosperity of the Arab people through responsible agricultural investment and development practices.