In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has achieved a 63 percent self-sufficiency rate in the value-added agriculture sector, thanks to the state-run Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program (Reef) aimed at enhancing food security in the Kingdom.
Launched in 2019, the program has successfully increased and diversified agricultural production while supporting 63,000 agricultural projects.
Moreover, it has played a vital role in managing local markets and mitigating the effects of global food price fluctuations.
According to a recently released Reef infographic, the coffee industry in Saudi Arabia achieved a self-sufficiency rate of 16 percent, producing 1,009 tons of coffee in 2023, with a target to reach 7,000 tons by 2026.
Similarly, the fruits sector achieved a self-sufficiency rate of 22 percent, producing 90,000 tons this year, and Reef projects food production to reach 305,000 tons in 2026.
Regarding rose and aromatic plants, the self-sufficiency rate reached 33 percent as Reef planted 651 million roses, and it aims to grow 2 billion such plants by 2026.
The honey industry achieved a self-sufficiency rate of 49 percent, producing 3.75 million tons in 2023, with an expected increase to 7.5 million tons in 2026.
Lastly, rain-fed crops achieved a self-sufficiency rate of 13 percent, cultivating 27,000 tons this year, and it is projected to yield 195,000 tons in 2026.
Reef has played a pivotal role in achieving food security and self-sufficiency in Saudi Arabia, resulting in a total agricultural output of 350.54 million tons this year.
Their inclusive programs have provided support for 70 different goods, empowering small-scale farmers, enhancing their income and living standards, and fostering social stability and job opportunities.
Furthermore, Reef has actively supported environmental conservation initiatives and plans to plant 18 million seedlings in an area exceeding 150,000 hectares by the year-end.
Diversifying its approach, the state-run organization has also increased farming families’ income by attracting tourists and ecological enthusiasts to local farms and offering outlets for farmers to sell their products to tourists.