In a recent announcement at the periodic meeting of the Food Security Committee, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture and Chairman of the Food Security Committee, said that Saudi government entities concerned with the food security system had allocated around $2.66 billion (SAR10 billion) to address the effects of rising global prices.
The minister said that the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) allocated a total of $1.2 billion in its budget to support the strategic inventory of wheat and barley and compensate importers.
A sum of $1.1 billion has beenallocated to the Agricultural Development Fund’s (ADF) budget to lend the private sector to finance contracts that cover the kingdom’s needs of the main commodities, including corn, barley, and soybeans for no less than six months. The minister added that $212 million was provided as additional support for the subsidies presented to breeders and producers.
The committee meeting discussed other food security concerns. It said it is working to enhance the local stock of essential food commodities.
The announcement follows several key developments in food security. Earlier this year, the kingdom pledged $15 billion in economic assistance for Egypt, the Middle East’s most populous country, as its economy was hit hard by record-high grain prices due to the war. Egypt is also seeking help from the International Monetary Fund to support its ailing economy.
Globally, countries are raising the alarm over the growing crisis in global food supplies triggered by the ongoing conflict, amidst which several MENA economies find themselves in a precarious condition.
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