Qatar records highest increase in domestic food production in GCC since 2016: Alpen Capital

Country: Qatar
Qatar records highest increase in domestic food production in GCC since 2016: Alpen Capital
17 December 2023

Qatar recorded the highest increase (15.6% CAGR) in domestic food production in the GCC since 2016, driven by National Strategy for Food Security, Alpen Capital has said in a report.

Total food production in the GCC region grew at a pace of 6.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since 2016 to reach 16.4mn tonnes in 2021, it said.

According to Alpen Capital, Qatar ramped up its food production capacity while also developing alternative trade links for its food supply.
Post the completion of its first five-year food strategy (2018-2023), the country is currently formulating the new Qatar National Food Security Strategy (2023-2030) that aims to improve self-sufficiency, strategic reserves, enhance international trade, and streamline the domestic market.
GCC governments have taken various measures to improve food production, while ensuring food security in order to avoid shortages, Alpen Capital said in its report on ‘GCC Food Industry.

The region, which has historically relied on desalination of seawater and aquifers to meet their water needs, has also increased their focus towards setting up additional desalination plants while boosting investments in water-saving technologies for food production.
In addition to increasing investments towards land agriculture, GCC governments have proactively introduced policy reforms while forging international collaborations to contain imports and ensure a steady supply of food through home-grown produce.

The GCC food sector has become more self-reliant over the last decade, largely driven by various efforts undertaken by the governments to increase domestic food production, reduce food wastage, support research and development, and streamline logistics. Moreover, the various initiatives by regional governments to boost production through implementing organic farming and technology-enabled processes across the food value chain have aided growth over the past few years. Consequently, the region’s dependency on imports has declined.

Food consumption in the GCC is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.8% to reach 56.2mn tonnes by 2027 from an estimated 49mn tonnes in 2022.
This growth is likely to be driven by an increase in population, rise in per capita income due to greater economic stability, and the rebound in tourism activities.

Although the ongoing geopolitical concerns may weigh on the GCC food sector due to rising inflation and anticipated supply-chain vulnerabilities, the region’s high purchasing power is likely to support growth.

Being the staple food of the region, cereals will continue to remain the most consumed food category. However, it is expected to witness a modest growth rate over the five-year period compared to the rest of the food categories.

The vegetables food category is projected to secure the highest annualised growth rate while consumption of meat in the GCC is likely to record marginal gains as consumers turn health conscious amid the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases and growing demand for fresh produce and pesticide-free food with high nutritional value.

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