(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Qatar recorded the highest increase in domestic food production in the GCC in the five year period between 2014 and 2019, according to Alpen Capital.
The production of major food categories in Qatar increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.2% between 2014 and 2019 to reach 376,896 tonnes, Alpen Capital said in its report on 'GCC Food Industry'.
In 2019, Qatar invested $1.4bn in the food sector, a rise of 126% from $0.6bn in 2016, Alpen Capital said.
In terms of self-sufficiency, Qatar met 17.3% of its food requirements through domestic production in 2019, up from 12.6% in 2014.
The country was able to meet 72.8% of its domestic demand for dairy products, while self-sufficiency was the lowest for cereals (as of 2019), Alpen Capital noted.
In 2019, the GCC consumed 42.9mn tonnes of food products, with an annual consumption of 733.6 kg per person.
Qatar's food consumption grew at a CAGR of 8.1% over the five-year period, the highest in the region, to reach over 2.2mn in 2019.
Amongst the individual GCC nations, Oman recorded the highest per capita consumption at 930.8 kg, while Bahrain had the lowest at 622.0 kg in 2019.
Qatar (780.1 kg) and Oman's per capita food consumption remained higher than the average consumption of 733.6 kg in the GCC.
In 2019, Qatar accounted for 2.8% and 5.1% of the total regional food production and consumption, respectively, Alpen Capital noted.
Qatar is largely dependent on food imports to meet the domestic demand due to extremely high temperatures, desert climate, acute lack of rain/water, and limited availability of fertile soil.
However, the country has made significant efforts to ramp up production of food. Since 2017, the country has made significant strides in increasing local food production, with Qatari agricultural, fish, animal and dairy products experiencing a multi-fold increase.
In fact, Qatar invested heavily in procurement of dairy cattle, equipment, and technologies from the US and Europe since the embargo in a bid to become self-sufficient. This has also enabled the country to bridge some part of the shortfall in domestic production, making it more resilient to volatility in food availability.
Consequently, the production of major food categories in Qatar increased at a CAGR of 15.2% between 2014 and 2019 to reach 376,896 tonnes.
Among the individual food categories, dairy products (53.0% share), vegetables (24.3% share), and meat (9.8% share) remained the most produced items as of 2019.
Dairy production grew at the fastest pace, recording an annualised growth rate of 23.8% between 2014 and 2019, followed by meat (20.2% CAGR), and vegetables (12.6% CAGR) during the five-year period. Total imports for Qatar increased by 6.8% CAGR between 2014 and 2019 to reach 1.8mn MT, recording the fastest growth rate in the GCC.
Cereals have remained the highest imported food item in Qatar, accounting for 30.9% of the total in 2019. It witnessed a growth of 7.3% CAGR in imports between 2014 and 2019. Import of meat (11.0% CAGR), vegetables (10.3% CAGR), and fruits (9.9% CAGR) in the country grew at a high pace during the five-year period.
On the other hand, total food exports by Qatar declined at a CAGR of 12.9% between 2014 and 2019.
Meanwhile, Qatar's food consumption grew at a CAGR of 8.1% over the five-year period, the highest in the region, to reach over 2.2mn in 2019. Consumption of cereals was the highest in the country, accounting for 25.7% of total food consumption, followed by vegetables (21.7%) and meat (13.9%).
Consumption of meat grew at the fastest pace of 11.9% CAGR between 2014 and 2019, followed by potatoes (11.4% CAGR), vegetables (10.6% CAGR), eggs (9.1% CAGR), and fruits (9.0% CAGR).
A higher rate of consumption compared to production led to shortfall of 1.8mn tonnes in 2019. Between 2014 and 2019, the shortfall has increased at a CAGR of 6.9%.
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