Baladna, the Qatar-based dairy and juice business, has signed a partnership in Malaysia to produce fresh milk and dairy.

A so-called memorandum of collaboration has been inked with Malaysia’s state-owned rural development agency, the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra), with the aim of reducing the South-East Asian country’s reliance on milk and dairy imports.

Malaysia’s publicly-listed FGV Holdings is also party to the agreement. It is an agricultural business primarily engaged in palm oil and sugar plantations.

Baladna will jointly invest in an integrated dairy farm in the town of Chuping in the northern Malaysian state of Perlis, boardering Thailand. The initial focus is to establish a dairy herd of 10,000 “high-yielding milking cows”, with the aim to produce 100 million litres of milk in the first year of operation, according to a statement, which added the project is subject to the completion of a feasibility study.

The investment amounts have not been disclosed.

Located in the Qatari capital of Doha, Baladna kicked off the establishment in 2017 of a dairy farm in the desert located at Umm al-Hawaya after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties. The company imported cattle from Europe and the US for the project to produce milk and dairy products.

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By GlobalData

The company’s product portfolio consists of branded milk – fresh, long-life and UHT – cheese, cream and yogurt, including the Middle Eastern-style Labneh yogurt. It also produces local desserts such as rice pudding and natural fruit juices.

“The MoC is a key step forward in Baladna’s international expansion plans, which include replicating the company’s achievement in shifting Qatar from milk-import dependency to self-sufficiency during the regional diplomatic crisis,” it said.