The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture revealed that the production of local plant, animal, and fish products which meet individuals' basic needs has been accelerated over recent years, leading to greater levels of food self-sufficiency and abundance of food in 2020.
The Ministry said that dates, vegetables, fruits, citrus fruits, broiler chickens, table eggs, fresh milk and fish production sectors have contributed significantly to achieving food security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia amid the current coronavirus crisis. This is the result of the Ministry's efforts in developing the agriculture sector, increasing the productivity of strategic crops, maintaining a sustainable agricultural environment and supporting farmers.
Figures and Achievements
In 2019, the total production of dates was 1539 thousand tons, achieving self-sufficiency rate of 125%, while the vegetables production was approximately 1620 thousand tons, achieving a self-sufficiency rate of 60%.
The potato production reached nearly 403 thousand tons, making the Kingdom 92% self-sufficient in this sector. On the other hand, fruit and citrus production stood at 650 thousand tons with a 35% rate of self-sufficiency, marking a significant increase compared to 2016 when the production reached 266 thousand tons with a 15% rate of self-sufficiency, according to the Ministry.
As for table eggs and milk, the Ministry said it has achieved higher rates of table eggs production in 2019 as it has reached production level of 315 thousand tons and self-sufficiency level of 116%, compared with 102% in 2016. The production of fresh milk and its derivatives stood at 2.4 million tons, achieving a self-sufficiency rate of 109%. The poultry sector has produced 900 thousand tons of broiler chicken and achieved 60% self-sufficiency in 2019, compared with 612 thousand tons and 40% in 2016, which is considered a remarkable achievement.
Moreover, fish production sector is also outperforming as it has reached nearly 155,000 tons and achieved 55% self-sufficiency rate in the same year, compared with 90,000 tons and 15% in 2016.
Continued efforts and tireless work
The Ministry confirmed that these achievements were mainly due to its great efforts in overseeing agricultural production projects. It has met with farmers and producers to be aware of challenges facing them, carried out field visits to livestock and fish production projects to ensure preventive and biosecurity measures are met, cooperated with other projects to develop marketing and supply chains and helped farmers investing in agrobusiness that are in demand in the market.
It is expected that 2020 will witness spectacular growth in food production as the Ministry has issued agricultural licenses for new production projects in the poultry, vegetables and fish sectors.