Sustainability is at the heart of our approach and we consider the social, environmental and economic impacts of all of our investments. This principled approach is incorporated into every project’s selection criteria to reflect our commitment towards our stakeholders. It is this commitment that has paved the way for our success for the last 40 years. It is our pledge to continue to operate responsibly and create value on our journey for reinforcing food security in the Arab world.
Transparency and Corporate Governance
As a financial institution, it is imperative that we have a solid governance framework in place to demonstrate our integrity and credibility to our stakeholders. AAAID exercises the highest levels of transparency in disclosing its financial performance to its stakeholders and the public through regular board meetings, reviews and internal audits and its annual report. Our strong Corporate Governance policies and frameworks dictate stringent internal control measures and we accept no form of corruption or conflict of interest to safeguard our assets.
We take a long-term view of our investment decisions to ensure that our operations will be financially profitable in the long term. It is that belief that it is our responsibility to benefit all of our stakeholders through the provision of jobs, creation of shareholder value and providing access to finance to segments of society that need it. The organization’s agricultural investment activities provide around 115,000 employment opportunities out of which 18,000 are direct opportunities and 97,000 indirect opportunities in various fields.
On a macro-level, we ensure that the nature of our operations are aligned with and contribute to the socio-economic development of the Arab countries. We aim to contribute to the economies of our member states by increasing agricultural productivity levels, increasing income levels for farmers and promoting inter-trade between Arab countries. We drive growth and empowerment across our value chain by working with small-scale farmers to improve farming practices and livelihoods wherever our projects are being implemented.
We ensure that child, women and labour rights are observed and that we are not complicit in any child or forced labour as a result of our investments. Going beyond compliance, we conduct training and capacity building sessions to small-scale farmers, graduates of agricultural universities and colleges and women. This comes in line with our belief that our investments will only be as successful as the communities in which they are implemented.
AAAID’s investments are modelled to support the local communities in which we operate by providing services such as access to finance, access to clean water, public utilities and training and capacity building programs. We have established a Trust Fund to support local, small-scale farmers in rural areas and organise regular field visits for monitoring and evaluation purposes. Further, AAAID has established a Revolving Loans Fund to finance small-scale producers in member states.
Employee Engagement and Volunteerism
AAAID empowers its employees to actively engage with the community and volunteer in various social causes that create positive impact in its environment. AAAID strongly believes that participation in relevant community initiatives strengthens ties between its employees as well as building relations with the local community. These community initiatives include the provision of winter clothe sets to AAAID’s labour staff and low-income families in the local community and provision of meals to patients in various hospitals around Khartoum. AAAID also participated in a Blood Donation campaign, led by its President, organised in collaboration with the Central Blood Bank in Khartoum. In the spiritual month of Ramadan, AAAID distributes Iftar packages to low-income families with emphasis on orphans and martyr families and student hostels. Other initiatives include the provision of in-kind support to Quran Kareem schools, support of orphanages as well as the establishment of a ‘Takaful’ Fund for its employees.
AAAID values it people and we treat our employees with respect and equality, ensuring a health and safe work environment. We also ensure fair pay and compensation with special consideration to diversity and equal opportunity without any discrimination according to gender, race or religion.
Innovation and Technology Transfer
AAAID adopts conservation agriculture and continuously applies advanced and innovative agricultural products and processes in order to maximise returns and achieve efficiencies. Zero-tillage agricultural systems are applied to grow crops without disturbing the soil’s structure, composition and natural biodiversity. In this manner, it has improved potential crop yields, while improving the long-term environmental and financial sustainability of farming.
To optimise field level management, AAAID has applied precision farming and smart farming techniques in selected projects, this advanced technique matches farming practices to crop needs as well as reducing environmental risks. The application of this system has enhanced the decision making process, achieved remarkable results in the productivity of cotton, sunflower and sorghum, and maximized the cultivated land and has achieved an impressive increase in land productivity. We are currently exploring Cell bursting technology to continue our innovative approach towards agricultural investment. All AAAID applied technologies are systematically transferred to farmers and the private sector to maximise returns.
Research and Development
Through its Research and Development Activities, AAAID has taken great strides in linking scientific research and technical advances with the application of field research to serve agricultural investment. The application of pilot farms before entry into commercial production has served to demonstrate economically viable and innovative agricultural systems and processes. It has also initiated research stations in various projects to address technical needs and challenges to achieve sustainable agricultural development.
Socially Responsible Products and Services
AAAID’s ensures that its products are nutritious and affordable and can address social issues relevant to their context. Al-Rawabi, a AAAID affiliated company has launched Omega 3 infused milk and Super Milk which also contains Vitamins E and D to address vitamin deficiency issues in the region.