SAUDI ARABIA – Bühler, a leading supplier of milling and food processing technologies, seeks to tap into business opportunities in Saudi Arabia through providing its state-of-the-art rice processing technology.

Mohamed Jebabra, Country Manager, Bühler Saudi Arabia said that existing customers and new investors ready to enter the rice processing market have recognized the huge potential that the field offers and are seeking to enhance their existing operations.

“Investors want to buy in bulk, build processing facilities, and enter the B2B and retail market,”

“They see the potential for business optimization – for example, rice increases in value with age – if it is imported in bulk and stored in silos,” said Jebabra.

With one of the highest consumptions of rice in the Middle East, 47 kilograms (kg) per capita annually, rice is a high priority in Saudi Arabia’s government food security initiatives, particularly since India’s ban on some rice exports last year.

According to the country report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, Saudi is one of the world’s largest importers of rice at 1.35 million tonnes annually; of this, 76% is imported from India and 9% from Pakistan.

However, with global rice prices soaring, concerns about food security are increasing, hence, the country recognizes the need to diversify and broaden its food strategy

According to Jebabra, many current customers and new investors in Saudi have recognized the enormous market potential offered by processing the rice in Saudi itself and are seeking to enter the market.

This, according to him, along with the government’s food security concerns, offers a large area of opportunity for Bühler’s storage solutions and technology.

This opens up opportunities for Bühler’s complete storage solutions, such as its conveyors and the Mercury MES factory automation system, which is able to cover all stages of white rice processing from intake and cleaning to polishing, sorting, and packing for differing plant capacity and requirements.”

Jebabra emphasized that these solutions can be bundled with Bühler’s Total Care for optical sorters, through which customers are supported with a range of customized maintenance and service packages, and the Bühler Insights platform for digital services.

ln addition, in the interests of food security and localization of product, the government also wants to limit imports of processed, finished products.

With 45 years of contribution to food security in Saudi, Bühler recognizes the importance of a local presence.

“We are a solution provider and true partner. We have been present in the kingdom since 1978 and have a local capability in sales and after-sales services,” he noted.

The company also offers customer service coupled with performance assessment workshops on site providing the right approach to achieving the set goals in terms of efficiency enhancement of a plant.

“This is a value-added service offered by Bühler, whereby a dedicated process engineer or other expert identifies pain points and finds solutions following clear targets from the customer. It serves as a base for the customer in the decision-making process.”


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