Saudi Arabia’s food security strategy overcame global supply crisis, says ministry
JEDDAH: The Kingdom’s food security strategy succeeded in overcoming the global food supply crisis caused by COVID-19, according to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA).
“Despite the severity of the coronavirus pandemic crisis and its severe impact on the food supply chains in the world, the Kingdom has overcome this crisis through the strength and durability of its food and agricultural security,” said the minister for environment, water and agriculture, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli.
He praised citizens’ awareness for their responsible shopping and trust in the Kingdom, which helped to replenish food supplies.
He also credited the efforts and cooperation between the MEWA and the private sector for raising production and marketing efficiency.
“It all goes back to Saudi Arabia’s increase in lending volume to Saudi farmers, SR1.9 billion ($506.67 million) in 2019, which has helped the agriculture sector prosper. Today, the Kingdom has one of the largest storing capacity in the Middle East for wheat and flour, with more than 3.3 million tons. We also have trustworthy food supply chains capable of daily production that can satisfy consumers at international standards.”
He said that the Kingdom had also achieved unprecedented levels of self-sufficiency in many agricultural products such as dates, where it surpassed 125 percent, 60 percent in vegetables and poultry, 55 percent in fish, 116 percent in eggs, and 109 percent in milk.
The Kingdom on Sunday entered its third phase of lifting curfew restrictions, with businesses and people returning to pre-lockdown activities, resulting in several inspection trips from different authorities.
According to Al-Ekhbariya, the Eastern Province’s municipality carried out 585 trips aimed specifically at barbershops and women’s beauty salons to ensure their adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures.
"The Kingdom has overcome this crisis through the strength and durability of its food and agricultural security," - Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, Saudi minister for environment, water and agriculture.
There were similar efforts in Riyadh, where authorities supervised cab service providers and the safety measures in place for drivers and passengers in vehicles. Cinemas have resumed operations, but under tight regulations and with limited capacity.
The Kingdom on Monday recorded 40 new COVID-19-related deaths, raising the total to 1,307.
There were 3,393 new cases reported, meaning 161,005 people have contracted the disease in Saudi Arabia. There are 54,523 active cases, 2,045 of them are in critical conditions.
According to the Health Ministry, 438 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, while Jeddah recorded 388 and Makkah recorded 269.
The ministry also said that 4,045 more patients had recovered from coronavirus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 105,175.
Saudi Arabia has so far conducted more than 1.3 million tests for COVID-19.