KSA imported 23.5 million tons of wheat in 10 years


Saudi Gazette report

— Saudi Arabia imported 23.5 million tons of wheat in the past 10 years, business daily Al-Eqtisadiah said on Wednesday quoting the governor of the General Corporation of Cereals Ahmed Al-Faris.

"The imports were in line with the government's policy of a gradual shift from local cultivation of cereals in order to rationalize the consumption of water," he said.

Al-Faris said the purchases of the local wheat were reduced by 12.5 percent every year until the end of 2015.

"From 2016 onward we have been importing all our wheat requirements from outside," Faris explained.

He said a national plan to halt the cultivation of the green fodders was being executed by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.

The governor said the corporation was currently following up the establishment of grain silos in Yanbu seaport with a storage capacity of 120,000 tons at at cost of SR350 million.

He said the corporation would soon offer a project to establish grain silos in Dhiba seaport.

"We will utilize all the Kingdom's ports on the Red Sea to receive shipment of cereals," he added.

Faris said the corporation aims to store sufficient quantities of wheat to comply with the increasing number of the population and the growing number of the Haj and Umrah pilgrims.

He said the corporation did not import wheat from certain countries though it used international tenders to ensure that the wheat imported was of high quality.

Faris said the Kingdom used to import wheat mainly from the US, European countries, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Argentina.