- Kuwait has a high quality of life with abundant disposable income, powered by rich oil and gas reserves and high per capita income.
- The Kuwaiti government is willing to diversify its economy and has launched an open policy to foreign investments, particularly in Agro Food Sector.
- The local population is young and a great consumer who are very fond of foreign products, international brands and technology.
- Kuwait is dependent on their food and drinks imports from other countries. In 2015 Kuwait imported $33.3B, making it the 59th largest importer in the world. During the last five years the imports of Kuwait have increased at an annualized rate of 12.7%, from $17.6B in 2010 to $33.3B in 2015.
- Kuwait is endowed with a good financial management and a solid banking system.
- Kuwait’s population has doubled since the 2000 and hence the country with a rising demand is a highly potential market for Agro Food Consumption.
- Due to Climate and Desert land limitations in the ability of production in the sectors of Agriculture and Food etc.; Kuwait is looking for modern technologies for Agro Food
- Production, Processing to overcome the limitations.
- The country’s infrastructures are of high quality, the labor force provided by immigrants is inexpensive and the absences of taxes are some of the undeniable advantages to foreign investors.
- Increase in value of imports from 5,000,507 in 2006 to 7,631,699 in 2012.
Kuwait lies in the northwestern part of the Arabian Gulf, between latitudes 28.30 and 30.06 north, and longitudes 46.30 and 49.00 east. Its north-west borders are with Iraq, and its south and south-west borders are with Saudi Arabia. Its shores of the Arabian Gulf lie on the west. This special location provided Kuwait with a commercial importance. It is a natural outlet for northwestern part of the Arab Peninsula.
KUWAIT & FAO
Kuwait joined FAO in November 1961. The country’s longstanding cooperation and partnership with FAO culminated in a joint declaration of intent, signed in 2013, for the opening of a permanent FAO office in Kuwait. The declaration also highlighted the joint commitment of FAO and Kuwait to halve hunger and poverty in the country by 2015, to achieve environmental sustainability, and to establish a global development partnership.
As per Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Kuwait achieved the World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals 1st target of halving the number and proportion of undernourished people in the country. In 2013 FAO lauded Kuwait for achieving its anti-hunger goals for 2015. This reflects the pioneering food security strategy in Kuwait. Since then, only 38 states, including Kuwait, have achieved the Millennium Development Goal to end hunger before the deadline set by the UN.
FAO has agreed to support Kuwait in formulating a partnership programme for agricultural development aimed at enhancing the country’s aquaculture and water sectors, tackle livestock diseases and boost technical skills. The FAO/ Kuwait Partnership Programme will cooperate in pursuit of food security, nutrition, farming and rural development and that benefit both Kuwait and, where possible, other states within the framework of South-South cooperation. Twelve projects are envisaged for development in the following general technical areas:
- Fisheries management
- Water resource management
- Natural resource management
- Animal production
- Animal health
- Technical capacity development
The projects, expected to last between one and five years, will encompass food security, agriculture and natural resource management issues. They range from mapping the DNA of commercial fish stocks to sustainable water management and to combating brucellosis in local camels.
Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN)
Intisar Al-Shami, Head of food security department at Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN) claimed in 2017 that, “The State of Kuwait has achieved highest positions in terms of food security on both Arab and global levels.” She indicated that Kuwait is paying much attention to food security, stating that it won the first position on the Arab level and the 26th globally according to the 2017 Global Food Security Index. Upon instructions by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, State institutions have exerted comprehensive efforts to provide safe and heathy food to the population in Kuwait, she said. Such efforts resulted in the establishment of PAFN within a comprehensive national strategy, she stressed.
Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR)
The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) seeks to achieve self sufficiency of locally consumed fish as part of its ambitious strategy aimed at narrowing the supply demand gap. The strategy tends to expand and enhance several operations and projects such as fish farming, natural fish reserve in territorial waters, all listed in 2018-19 development plan. Fish farming could fill 50% of fresh fish deficit by 2025 if the authority can complete all its planned projects as per schedule.
Salem Al-Hai, Head of Fish Farming department at PAAAFR stated that the government is currently heading towards encouraging fish farming in the country hence giving PAAAFR a bigger motivation to accomplish that goal. He added that the Authority has developed a carefully studied strategy that include a number of future projects aimed at providing consumers in Kuwait with sufficient quantities of fish and limiting price increases in markets. The economic fish farming project, listed in the government’s 2018-19 development plan, is geared towards enhancing methods and ways of fish production, increasing production quantities, and improving the quality of farmed fish.
The Authority plans to build the National Hatchery (2008) in Wafra area to support fish farms authorized in breeding Tilapia fish with a production capacity of 80,000-90,000 annually. PAAAFR also plans to launch another important project aimed at farming sea fish in oating cages in Khairan area in southern Kuwait. The projects aim at attaining an annual production of 10 to 15 tons of fish for each farm, training around 10 of PAAAFR’s staff on modern techniques of fish farming, enhancing techniques and systems of the integrated fish farming in arable lands, guiding fish farmers to methods and ways of intensified fish farming, and promoting fish farming techniques to increase production in farms.
COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN THE STATE OF KUWAIT
Retail trade is one of the most important sectors in Kuwait’s economy and one of the State Gross National Product (GNP) support. Cooperative Societies since their establishment in 1962 with their subdivisions, i.e. supermarkets and branches embrace a grand network to distribute and flow the retail trade in the local market. They cover 80% of the distribution volume and will attain 90% of the foodstuff volume in addition to other necessary consumer commodities.
In comparison with the progress of the cooperative movement elsewhere in the Arab world and internationally, the Kuwaiti Cooperative Societies have achieved considerable success in a short period as the principal retailers in the Kuwaiti national economy, providing consumers with about 70 per cent of all services and commodities in the local market.
Over the past 25 years, the Kuwaiti cooperative movement has succeeded in maintaining stability in the prices of essential commodities and services, in preventing artificial increases and in winning the confidence of consumers. The goals of the cooperative movement in Kuwait are both economic and social. The economic goal is to co-ordinate individual efforts and public interests within the framework of the cooperative society, while the social goal is to protect low income groups from exploitation, to spread democratic concepts and to consolidate social links, thereby promoting social harmony and solidarity among the various sections of society. The current aims of the cooperative movement in Kuwait are to overcome obstacles to progress and to enhance the efficiency of its operations.
Mr. Ali Hashim Al Khandary – Chairman of Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies inaugurated the first edition of Kuwait International Agro Food Expo in the presence of dignitaries on 18 March 2018 at Kuwait International Fairgrounds – Kuwait