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Saudi Arabia

Newly formed body to boost food security

A new sustainable food system to address the growing concern of food security and rising prices in the Kingdom was launched at the Riyadh chamber of commerce and industry (RCCI) yesterday.
Fahd bin Abdulrahman Balghunaim, minister of agriculture, said the food monitoring body, established in cooperation with the King Abdullah Chair for Food Security at King Saud University (KSU), is an important step to complement efforts by the ministry to meet the food needs of the Kingdom.
He said the food monitoring body would provide information on the availability and price of strategic food commodities and help monitor and safeguard food security, as well as enhance agricultural development.
The monitoring body will enable decision-makers and researchers to access information on food price and availability in local markets.
Badran bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar, rector of King Saud University, said the formation of the food monitoring body reflects the government’s resolve to provide food security to its citizens.
He said the food monitoring body would enhance national initiatives and provide information to decision-makers, agriculturalists, and the business community who invest in agriculture and in the long run, improve food security in the Kingdom.
Abdulrahaman Al-Jeraisy, RCCI board chair, said the food monitoring body would enhance the role of the private sector in supporting government efforts in food security, the provision of food commodities in local markets and how to avert the negative impact of fluctuations in world food production.
Khalid Al-Ruwais, supervisor of the King Abdullah Chair for Food Security, studied changing food prices worldwide and their impact on food security in the Kingdom. He said the main factors affecting food security were dependence on imports, inability of local agricultural production to realize self-sufficiency and a growing demand due to population growth.

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