Saudi Arabia has sufficient stocks of essential goods and food supplies to meet the market demand in the current coronavirus crisis situation, according to a senior government official.
Dr. Abdullah Aba Al-Khail, spokesman of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, said that all food production operations are continuing smoothly with sufficient strategic storage of basic commodities. “The Kingdom has achieved high levels of sufficiency in many agricultural products, and these include 60 percent of self-sufficiency in poultry, with production of one million tons annually, and 60 percent of vegetables with local production of about 180,000 tons per month, and 109 percent of milk and milk products, which is more than 7.5 million liters per day, apart from 55 percent of seafood products, and 92 percent of potatoes,” he said.
Aba Al-Khail said that there is a food security strategy approved two years ago by the Council of Ministers. The Food Security Committee meets under the chairmanship of minister of environment, water and agriculture periodically to monitor the status of basic food commodities and the supply capacity, and its last meeting was held on Sunday.
He said the ministry is working to meet the market’s needs through various other items such as wheat and flour. The Saudi Grains Organization has stocks of up to two million bags of grains ready for distribution upon request, in addition to the daily production of flour, amounting to 15,000 tons, which covers the need for local consumption completely.
As the season is going to start from next month, there will be 700,000 additional tons of local wheat. More than 1.2 million tons of imported wheat will arrive before the end of July, in addition to the strategic stocks of over one million tons.
With regard to red meat, he said the Kingdom has achieved 30 percent self sufficiency and the Ministry has expanded import options that have reached 29 countries to date, with an average of six million heads of livestock annually. Aba Al-Khail said the introduction of modern technologies in agriculture and the diversity of environments in the Kingdom contributed to the continuation of agricultural production throughout the year.
The digital transformation achieved by the ministry and the activation of remote work tools for all its employees have contributed significantly to ensuring the continuity and efficiency of the ministry’s work by providing electronic services to domestic and foreign beneficiaries. He called on all workers in the agricultural sector, including farmers, beekeepers, fishermen, and livestock keepers, that they are allowed to move around the clock without the need for any additional documents from the Ministry of Interior other than their IDs and health cards.