The Kuwait Fruits and Vegetable Industry is projected to register a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
Kuwait is highly dependent on food imports and their supply chains are built to the other countries. The Coronavirus crisis has resulted in the disruption of supply chains globally, leading to food insecurity in Kuwait. During COVID-19, the country has experienced an onion shortage, where the government has sent trucks to buy 120,000 kilos of onion from Yemen which is combating with unprecedented hunger crisis, thereby, exposing the vulnerability of dependence on food imports. Facing the COVID-19 crisis, the country has moved to strengthen its food security by increasing investments in international cooperation and agricultural technology.
The agriculture sector plays a minor role in the growth of the country’s economy. Kuwait imports most of its fruits and vegetables, as the domestic production capability is low due to the unfavorable climate, soil infertility, and water scarcity. Vegetable production in 2019 valued at a total of 328,459 thousand metric ton and fruit production valued at a total of 115,324 thousand metric ton. The increasing market for fruits and vegetables in Kuwait is attributed to the growing disposable incomes of the people and the increasing health concerns of the Kuwaiti population.
Key Market Trends
Import of Fruits & Vegetables to meet the Domestic demand
The country has a total arable land of about 10,600 hectares, which is about 0.6% of the total land area. This domestic production capacity is not enough to cater to the growing domestic demand for fruits and vegetables. Kuwait is the second-most populated country in the GCC region, with the average population growth rate of 3.5%. The country has low domestic production capabilities for fruits and vegetables, as the soil in the region is low in organic content, low-nutrient holding abilities, and poor moisture-retaining capacity. The natural water resources required for irrigation are minimal, with most of the water used being from desalination plants, which consume a lot of electricity; domestic farmers are not able to bear the costs, as there are no subsidies for electricity. Thus, the harsh climatic conditions, and vulnerable water and soil resources are the major constraints faced by the agriculture sector in Kuwait; hence, the country is mostly dependent on the import of fruits and vegetables.
Government Initiative to Invest in farm land abroad
The government of Kuwait is encouraging agricultural companies to invest in foreign countries that have a comparative advantage in producing certain crops and import their products back into Kuwait. The Kuwaiti government is providing financial incentives to encourage investors in the country to take part in this food security initiative and invest overseas. The Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), one of the world's largest and most comprehensive sustainable development projects, focuses on Greenhouse farming in the southeast city. Urfa, one of the most important agricultural centers in Turkey, and hence Kuwait along with Turkey has invested USD 100 million in the greenhouse on a 1000 decare area in this region to export the agriculture products to gulf countries. The Greenhouse Investors and Producers Association (SERA-BİR) and GAP Greenhouse Gardeners Association would also assist in greenhouse cultivation in order to develop the sector. This
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