GCC food industries sector investments reach $23.76bn

Updated 15 July 2015

GCC food industries sector investments reach $23.76bn

JEDDAH: The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) announced that the number of factories operating in the GCC food industries sector increased from 1,606 in 2010 to 1,965 in 2014, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2 percent.
During the same period, investments jumped from $13.69 billion to $23.76 billion, a five-year CAGR of 14.8 percent, while the labor force increased from 159,613 to 238,825 workers, a CAGR of 10.6 percent. All of these figures were published in GOIC’s GCC Food Industries’ Directory.
GOIC Secretary General Abdulaziz bin Hamad Al-Ageel stated that this sector represents approximately 12.1 percent of the total manufacturing industries, about 6.2 percent of the total investments and 15.6 percent of the total manufacturing labor force. He highlighted the importance of food industries in GCC countries in terms of achieving Gulf food security.
Al-Ageel explained that the GCC industrial directories complement the valuable series of publication issued by GOIC. In fact, the GCC Food Industries Directory is the second to be published after the GCC Petrochemical Industries Directory.
In this connection, GOIC Secretary General said: “The food industries sector is one of the main pillars of a sturdy economy; it is an important sector that is based on agricultural activities and developing animal resources and fisheries. Thus, GOIC endeavored to provide concerned parties with a variety of easily accessible data on these industries in a scientific fashion in accordance with international standards in the area of directories.”
Furthermore, Al-Ageel stressed GOIC’s key role in the areas of consulting services, researches and studies. He reiterated GOIC’s commitment to providing documented and updated outputs prepared by its experts based on its developed databases. He hoped this publication would become a reference material enriching the GCC economic library and helping decision-makers, researchers, investors and all stakeholders in their efforts to develop the economy of the region.
According to ISIC, the food industries include several industrial activities as follows: Processing and preserving of meat, fish, crustaceans and mollusks; processing and preserving of fruits and vegetables; manufacture of vegetable, animal oils and fats, and dairy products; manufacture of grain mill products, starches, starch products and other food products; manufacture of bakery products, sugar, cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery; manufacture of macaroni, noodles, couscous and similar farinaceous products; manufacture of prepared meals, dishes and other food products n.e.c.; manufacture of prepared animal feeds, manufacture of soft drinks; production of mineral waters and other bottled waters; and manufacture of tobacco products.
Since its very foundation, GOIC has always endeavored to spread knowledge and provide data relating to the industrial sector. It targets the largest pool of stakeholders, policy-makers, decision-makers, investors and researchers in this area. GOIC’s objective is to make valuable data accessible to these parties in a variety of top-notch methods.
In this context, a team of local, regional and international experts at GOIC put together a large number of specialized periodicals tackling issues related to different industrial sectors throughout the GCC and Yemen.
In addition, they prepare multi-client studies, periodicals, Gulf statistical profiles and various analytical and statistical books on key industrial sectors.
In the near future, GOIC will publish several similar publications as reference materials for professionals in the area of economics in general, and the industrial sector in particular.

Taps and reservoirs run dry as Moroccan drought hits farmers

Updated 22 October 2020

Taps and reservoirs run dry as Moroccan drought hits farmers

  • The problems caused by increasingly erratic rainfall and the depletion of groundwater are growing every year in Morocco

RABAT: Two years of drought have drained reservoirs in southern Morocco, threatening crops the region relies on and leading to nightly cuts in tap water for an area that is home to a million people.

In a country that relies on farming for two jobs in five and 14 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), the problems caused by increasingly erratic rainfall and the depletion of groundwater are growing every year.

In the rich citrus plantations of El-Guerdan, stretching eastward from the southern city of Agadir, more than half of farmers rely on two dams in the mountains of Aoulouz, 126 km away, to irrigate their trees.

However, that water has been diverted to the tourist hub of Agadir, where mains water has been cut to residential areas every night since Oct. 3 to ensure taps in households did not run entirely dry.

“The priority should go to drinking water,” Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch said in parliament last week.

In El-Guerdan, Youssef Jebha’s crop of clementine oranges has been compromised by reduced water supply, he said, which affects both the quality of fruit and the size of the harvest.

“The available ground water is barely enough to keep the trees alive,” said Jebha, who is head of a regional farmers’ association.

“Saving Agadir should not be at the expense of El-Guerdan farmers,” he added, speaking by phone.

‘We hope for rain’

El-Guerdan is not alone in facing drought. Morocco’s harvest of cereals this year was less than half that of 2019, meaning hundreds of millions of dollars of extra import costs.

Despite lower production, Moroccan exports of fresh produce have risen this year by 8 percent. 

Critics of the government’s agricultural policy say such sales are tantamount to exporting water itself, given the crops use up so many resources.

A report by Morocco’s social and environmental council, an official advisory body, warned that four-fifths of the country’s water resources could vanish over the next 25 years.

It also warned of the risks to social peace due to water scarcity. In 2017, 23 people were arrested after protests over water shortages in the southeastern city of Zagora.

In January the government said it would spend $12 billion on boosting water supply over the next seven years by building new dams and desalination plants.

One $480 million plant, with a daily capacity of 400,000 cubic meters, is expected to start pumping in March, with the water divided between residential areas and farms.

Until then, “We hope for rain,” the agriculture minister said in parliament.

In El-Guerdan, the farmers are digging for water. A new well costs $20,000-30,000. However, “there is no guarantee water can be found due to the depletion of ground reserves,” said Ahmed Bounaama, another farmer.