The total food consumption in GCC is expected to reach 52.3 million metric ton by 2021. The fruit market in the region reached XXX thousand metric tons in 2016, which increased at a CAGR of X.XX% from 2010 to 2016 and is expected to grow at XX.XX% YoY, till 2021. Vegetable market in GCC reached XXX thousand metric tons in 2016, which increased at a CAGR of X.XX% from 2010 to 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of XX.XX% till 2021. The increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables is attributed to the growing expatriate population and the economic prosperity of the region. Among the GCC countries, UAE has the highest expatiate population; about 85.5% are non-nationals of UAE. The same phenomenon is seen in all the GCC countries.
Conditions in the GCC countries are unfavorable for the cultivation of most fruits and vegetables. Out of the total area available, only about 1.7% is arable. Due to this, the domestic production levels are low, and most of the consumption is met by imports from various countries. Due to the growing consumption of fruits and vegetables the GCC countries tried to boost the agricultural output by increasing productivity so that they could be self–sufficient. The GCC countries could not continue with this level of production due to the scarcity of water resources, which in-turn increased these countries’ reliance on import of fruits and vegetables. Due to the water issue, the GCC countries’ domestic production will never be able satisfy its domestic consumption.
Signing of the GAFTA and other free trade agreements will open up different avenues of trade and procurement. GAFTA is expected to boost, both intra GCC, as well as, intra MENA trade. The governments of the GCC countries have undertaken several food security initiatives in the form of framing policies that encourage private investments in the agricultural sector. The governments started implementation of policies, which phase out domestic production of plants that need high amounts of water. This makes GCC the perfect market for exporters of fruits and vegetables. After recent land privatization law, passed by the African government, most of the governments of the GCC countries have invested in obtaining land in Africa and producing fruits and vegetables for the country. Many private organizations are trying to follow the same model, as the demand for fruits and vegetables is high in the GCC countries.
The agricultural market in Iran is segmented by type of products into fruits and vegetables. These are sub-segmented into onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cauliflower, cucumber, cabbage, beans, eggplant, lemons, apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, strawberry, watermelon, grapefruit, dates, and olives.
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