Abu Dhabi: Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (Salic) and UAE’s Al Dahra company will be investing 5 billion riyals ($1.33 billion; Dh4.89 billion) in the Black sea region to boost agriculture and ensure food security, Salic’s chief executive officer told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

“[The] investment started already. We will be acquiring companies and we will be investing in grains and livestock,” said Abdullah Al Dubaikhi during the UAE-Saudi Business Forum.

The companies will be investing in ten countries in Black Sea region, including Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania.

The two countries are also working to set up a joint venture company which will be headquartered either in Riyadh or Abu Dhabi, he said.

Owned by the Public investment Fund, Salic has also signed an investment agreement with Russian company RZ Agro to invest in developing farmlands, he added. The value of the investment is $100 million (Dh367.3 million).

Al Dahra is an Abu Dhabi-based firm specialising in the cultivation, production and trading of animal feed and essential food commodities such as rice, flour, fruits and vegetables.

The group owns and operates a large asset base including a land bank of 200,000 acres, eight forage pressing and production plants, four rice milling plants and two flour-milling plants, according to its website.

Khadim Al Darei, co-founder and vice-chairman of Al Dahra Holding, said the company has a global footprint and there is a huge demand for food supply in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf markets.

“We will continue to expand and explore opportunities in different markets.”

The firm is active in Australia, Asia, Africa, North America and Europe.