Bahrain saw an upswing in its agriculture sector as farms and greenhouses increased their collective output by 15 percent since 2015. Nearly 13,000 more tons of farm products were also produced compared to last year.
As reported by the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture, Bahrain’s agriculture sector growth is attributed, in large part, to the growing number of greenhouses in Bahrain, which reached around 4,830 in 2022. In 2015, it only had 3,135 greenhouses.
With a lack of water resources and a hot climate, Bahrain has been battling with sluggish agricultural output growth. To ramp up local production, the country is relying on innovations such as greenhouse and hydroponic farming.
Robust farming sector
Looking at Bahrain’s farming output, vegetable production particularly marked a 49 percent increase, surging to 22.7 tons in 2022 from 15.2 tons in 2015. Fruit production witnessed a more remarkable growth, with total output soaring by 86.6 percent. Last year, the country yielded 2.8 tons of fruits, as opposed to 2015’s 1.5 tons.
Bahrain’s agricultural workforce also grew, with employee numbers climbing from 2,643 in 2015 to 4,378 in 2022. Of this figure, 323 are native Bahrainis, while the remaining are expatriate laborers.
Similarly, Bahrain’s agricultural exports increased. From $49.65 mn in 2015, it rose to $159 mn in 2022, corresponding to a 220 percent growth. Imports grew in the same period. Imported farm products jumped from $743 mn to $939 mn, which translates to a growth rate of 26.3 percent.
Agricultural output in GCC
Other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also hit agricultural milestones.
In 2022, Kuwait produced 202,000 tons of agricultural products, with a total value amounting to $90.7 mn. At 59,000 tons and with a corresponding market value of $27.6 mn, tomatoes are the country’s highest-produced agricultural product.
Qatar’s agricultural output totaled 100,000 tons last year. According to Youssef Khalid Al Khulaifi, director of the Agricultural Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality, domestic vegetable production has specifically grown by over 100 percent compared to 2017.
Last year, Saudi Arabia saw its agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) soar by 38 percent year-on-year, reaching $26.6 bn. This is the sector’s highest contribution to the GDP in its history, as disclosed by Mansour Al-Mushait, the kingdom’s deputy minister of environment, water, and agriculture.
Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates is expected to reach $3.17 bn this year, according to Mordor Intelligence. The global market research consulting firm described the UAE as “the most promising agriculture market in the GCC region,” citing high per capita food consumption.
Meanwhile, Oman’s agricultural market value is likely to hit $2.11 bn by the end of the year.
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