Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates is projected to register a CAGR of 3.2% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
As an impact of COVID-19, Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates suffered from farm labour shortage during harvesting and input supply crisis, these in turn hampered the usual production of the country. The repeated lockdowns and shutdowns of processing units affected the supply chain and limited trade movements to other countries. Moreover, lack of storage facilities led to the huge quality loss of the country's produces. As the country is renowned for luxurious resorts and tourist places, due to the worlwide lockdowns, the demand for fresh produce including cereals, fruits, and vegetables decreased rampantly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Arab Emirates with high per capita food consumption is the most promising agriculture market in the GCC region. The United Arab Emirates cereal production is moderate until yet, but the country is still not fully self-sustain in agriculture production. The United Arab Emirates is still dependent on imports for cereals.
According to FAO, in United Arab Emirates; cereals production in 2019 was 6,708.0 metric ton which are very minimal. Similarly, fruits production accounted for 360,598.0 metric ton and vegetables production stood at 315,098 ton in 2019. With the government been giving priority to the production of fruits and vegetables, production is showing positive growth. Hydroponics is emerging is this region due to the fact that this process requires less quantity of water and no land or soil. All these factors are driving the growth of agriculture in the United Arab Emirates.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Production of Crops Mark The Steady Growth in Agriculture
Dates are the major crop grown in The United Arab Emirates among all the crops. According to FAO, Dates lead the agricultural crop production which accounts for 323,478 metric tons in 2019. Despite various unfavorable soil & climatic factors, the production of various crops in the United Arab Emirates is increasing due to the various support from the government such as free cultivation, 50% less cost of crop protection, veterinary services, and fertilizers at 50% less cost. According to FAO, Dates with the production of 323,478 metric ton, followed by tomatoes with 72,357 metric ton, and cucumber & gherkins adds up to 73,982 metric ton in 2019, thus showing a steady growth of agriculture in the United Arab Emirates.
Import of Major Cereals
According to ITC Trademap, the import of cereals was valued at USD 1,080,277 thousand in 2019, Increased import of cereals is due to high local consumption and a decrease in government grain stocks. Among cereals, Rice is majorly imported. The majority of United Arab Emirates rice imports are milled rice while very less percent of paddy, brown and broken rice. According to ITC Trade, India is the dominant supplier of cereals to the United Arab Emirates, holding 35.6 % share in total imports in 2019. Russian Federation was ranked second highest exporter to the UAE with 15.9 % share of total imports. This increasing import shows the growing opportunity in the United Arab Emirates.
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