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Saudi Arabia Implements Strategic Measures to Ensure Food Security for Pilgrims

Saudi Arabia's strategic planning has allowed the nation to overcome food supply challenges throughout its history, even during challenging times in the region.

Shivam Dwivedi
Saudi Arabia Implements Strategic Measures to Ensure Food Security for Pilgrims (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Saudi Arabia Implements Strategic Measures to Ensure Food Security for Pilgrims (Photo Source: Pixabay)

Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in achieving self-sufficiency in various essential food products, positioning itself well to cater to the needs of millions of visiting pilgrims from around the world.

As the country prepares to welcome pilgrims, the head of catering in Mecca has announced that over 1,294 food factories in Saudi Arabia will ensure the provision of more than 120 million meals for at least 2 million pilgrims over a six-day period. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah will oversee these operations to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety.

Data from official sources reveal that investment in food manufacturing accounts for approximately 7 percent of the total investments made in Saudi Arabia's industrial sector. Consequently, more than 94 billion riyals have been injected into operating 11.35 percent of the total number of factories in the Kingdom. This commitment underscores the country's dedication to strengthening its food production capabilities.

To attain self-sufficiency in food production, Saudi Arabia has been actively engaged in a megaproject aimed at increasing vegetation cover. This endeavor has yielded positive results, particularly in agricultural sectors such as date production, where self-sufficiency has reached an impressive rate of 125 percent. Additionally, vegetable production has achieved rate of 87 percent. Moreover, Saudi Arabia boasts the largest wheat and flour storage capacity in the Middle East, with a daily milling capacity of 3.3 million tons.

The Kingdom's strategy for ensuring food security comprises 11 programs, including the Saudi Agricultural Investment Abroad Program. Notably, the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) completed a 4.65-billion-riyal acquisition, acquiring 35.43 percent of Singaporean Olam Agri company shares in December 2022. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has also acquired two meat processing factories in Australia, emphasizing its commitment to securing diverse food sources.

In addition to food security, Saudi Arabia recognizes the importance of water security and has incorporated it into its strategic agenda. The country has undertaken significant projects for seawater desalination and currently manages and operates 563 dams. To further enhance rainwater utilization, the Kingdom plans to construct an additional 1,000 dams. These measures underscore Saudi Arabia's proactive approach to resource management and its commitment to sustainability.

The country successfully navigated crises such as the second Gulf War in 1990, the food price crisis in 2008, and the disruptions to global food supply chains in 2021 caused by the pandemic. By implementing a comprehensive strategy, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated its resilience and commitment to ensuring food security for its population and visitors alike.

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