Scientific Journal Of King Faisal University
Basic and Applied Sciences


Scientific Journal of King Faisal University / Basic and Applied Sciences

An Economic Perspective on Food Security for Red Meat in Saudi Arabia

(Momtaz N. Elsebaei, Rady T. Tawfik and Maha A. Saied)


Red meat is a strategic food commodity in Saudi Arabia. Due to the inability of domestic production to meet consumption, imports increased from 126,000 tons in 2000 to about 248,000 tons in 2017, which negatively affected the agricultural and food-trade balance. This research aimed to identify the level of food security, the size of the food gap and the most significant factors affecting it. The research employed econometric analysis, where averages, growth rates, and simple and multiple regressions were used in linear and non-linear forms. The results indicated the relative stability of both local production and red meat exports, and the significant increasing trend of local consumption and imports. The size of the apparent and objective food gaps showed an increasing trend with a statistically significant annual growth rate of 4.1% and 5.7% respectively; 91% of the changes were attributable to population and average per capita red meat. The average strategic stock size was 210,000 tons, which was sufficient for local consumption for 233 days, and the food security coefficient was 0.64, indicating relative food security. Food security and complete self-sufficiency objectives can be achieved by increasing the value of additional investments to SAR139.4 million and SAR164.3 million, respectively.

Apparent food gap, objective food gap, strategic stock, food security coefficient



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