Saba Industries Group, a privately-held manufacturer and global exporter of rice and other commodities, is investing US$100 million in South-east Asia’s rice industry to help modernize the sector, promote organic rice farming and improve farmers’ quality of life. Saba operates agricultural commodities, mining, ship breaking and hospitality businesses in South and South-east Asia, Australia and Africa. The investment will span two years and is said to be one of the largest investments in South-east Asia’s rice industry.
“Rice is a major food staple all over the world, and consumption is growing rapidly every year, especially in non-Asian regions such as Africa and the Middle East,” said Malini Saba, founder and chairman of Saba Industries. “Farmers are the key to ensuring that rice production and quality keeps pace with demand. Helping farmers reduce their debt, improve their lives and farm organically is the only way the rice industry can survive and thrive. Moreover, helping people achieve economic stability is the right thing to do.”
With its investment, Saba will buy outdated and abandoned rice mills in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, and convert them into storage facilities with bio-energy rice dryers that can help combat the effects of climate change. The company will also buy farmers’ rice paddies, and it will supply farmers with equipment, seeds and organic fertilizer — all free of charge.
Golden Grain Rice, a Saba Industries Group subsidiary, will distribute the rice to wholesalers throughout South-east Asia and parts of Africa and the Middle East. Additionally, Saba’s philanthropic arm, Saba Family Foundations, plans to build and operate schools and health clinics in farming communities that have no access to basic education and healthcare services.