The Gap and Food Security of Poultry Meat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Document Type : Original Article


Agricultural Economics Dept., Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Shobra El-Khema, Cairo, Egypt.


Within the framework of the National Transformation Program and the economic diversification policy for the agricultural sector, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aimed to increase the self-sufficiency rate in poultry meat to 60% by 2020. This goal was set to bridge the gap between local production and the rising consumption of animal products. The current research focused on assessing the food gap and food security status of poultry meat in the Kingdom between 2008 and 2022. The study utilized qualitative and quantitative analysis methods for its economic analysis. The findings revealed a significant annual increase in the self-sufficiency rate of poultry meat in the Kingdom, averaging around 1.50%. This represented approximately 3.18% of the annual average self-sufficiency rate during the study period. The results aligned with economic principles by emphasizing the importance of boosting domestic production by 6.0% annually to outpace consumption growth, which stood at 2.65%. Import volumes remained stable, hovering around 724.4 thousand tons throughout the research period. The apparent gap also saw a yearly increase of about 3.7 thousand tons, equivalent to 0.56% of the annual average gap of 689.6 thousand tons. Despite indicating a surplus in the objective gap, this surplus could be attributed to the higher average Saudi per capita consumption of poultry meat at 43 kg/capita/year compared to the global average of 17.3 kg. The relatively stable instability coefficients for the food gap from poultry meat suggested a consistency in its contributing variables. Consequently, the Kingdom maintained a high level of food security for poultry meat, as evidenced by an average food security factor of 0.07 from 2008 to 2022. This underscored the relative food security of poultry meat in Saudi Arabia. The study identified local production volume and average per capita consumption as the most influential factors, explaining approximately 96% of the variations in poultry meat self-sufficiency rates. The study suggests the necessity of optimizing local poultry meat consumption and enhancing investments to further develop the poultry sector, aiming to attain self-reliance and food security in alignment with the National Transformation Program and the Kingdom's Vision 2030. The objective is to boost local poultry meat production by 535 thousand tons compared to the 2022 level of 1,130 thousand tons. The Agricultural Development Fund provided additional loans totaling around 250 million riyals to poultry production projects during the initiation of new ventures and expansion of current ones, resulting in a rise of approximately 500 million riyals in supplementary investments to realize complete self-sufficiency in poultry meat within the Kingdom.


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