Saudi Arabia increases its wheat farming as the tourism sector continues to grow

Country: Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia increases its wheat farming as the tourism sector continues to grow
17 May 2024

Saudi Arabia is ramping up its wheat production with a target of 1.5 million tonnes in the upcoming financial year, a 25% increase from previous levels. This move is crucial for the country's food security, especially amid disruptions caused by the conflict in Ukraine, a major wheat supplier. However, production is regulated due to concerns about the underground aquifer, with only small farmers focusing on wheat or alfalfa hay allowed to participate. Despite last year's wheat prices of $467 per tonne, prices for the upcoming crop are yet to be determined. With tourism on the rise and expected to hit 70 million visitors by 2030, alongside major construction projects, the demand for wheat, rice, and corn imports is projected to increase. Rice consumption is set to rise by 6% to 1.6 million tonnes, necessitating continued reliance on imports. This push for increased food production aligns with Saudi Arabia's broader efforts to diversify its economy, including investments in sports and entertainment.

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