Oman tops the GCC in terms of per capita food consumption

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Average person in Oman eats 930.8 kg of food in a year

Oman boasts of the highest food self-sufficiency rate among all GCC countries, but it also has the dubious distinction of being the country with the highest per capita food consumption in the region.

According to Alpen Capital, a regional investment bank, the sedentary lifestyle in a context of rapid modernization and higher living standards has significantly contributed to unhealthy eating habits and higher consumption of high-calorie foods at Oman. published Monday.

About 930.8 kg is an estimated amount of food – by weight – that the average person in Oman eats over the course of a year. Oman’s per capita food consumption was 27% higher than the overall per capita consumption of 733.6 kg for the GCC region in 2019, according to Open Capital‘s “GCC Food Industry Report”.

Data showed that an average person in Oman consumes 30 percent more food in a year than the average person in Saudi Arabia (713.5 kg).

“Among individual nations, Oman recorded the region’s highest per capita consumption at 930.8 kg, while Bahrain had the lowest at 622.0 kg in 2019. Qatar’s food consumption (780.1 kg ) and Oman remained above average consumption of 733.6. kg in the GCC, while the United Arab Emirates (730.8 kg), Saudi Arabia (713.5 kg), Kuwait (700.0 kg) and Bahrain (622.0 kg) had per capita consumption below average, ”said Alpen Capital.

The large disparity in regional data, according to the report, is explained by the increase in consumption of fish, pulses and vegetables in Oman compared to the decrease in grain consumption in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. between 2014 and 2019.

On the other hand, the total food consumption in the sultanate increased at an average annual rate of 6.6% between 2014 and 2019, reaching 4.3 million metric tons in 2019, according to the report.

Although cereals remained the most consumed food category in Oman with a share of 26.8 percent, they recorded the slowest average annual growth rate at 1.3 percent between 2014 and 2019. Consumption of fish in Oman grew at the fastest average annual rate of 21.8 percent. percent over the five-year period, followed by pulses with an average annual growth of 21.1 percent.

The report noted that “the sedentary lifestyle as part of rapid modernization and higher standard of living has contributed significantly to unhealthy eating habits and higher consumption of high-calorie foods”.

“This has led to a higher demand for organic and halal food products among the health conscious millennial population.

As a result, food production and consumption in Oman has increased at more than double the rate of population growth over the five-year period, ”said Alpen Capital.

Robust growth in food production

Oman’s national food production has grown at a steady pace thanks to the sultanate’s various investments in the fisheries and agriculture sectors. The country’s total food production increased at an annual growth rate of 11.8% between 2014 and 2019 to reach 2.1 million metric tons.

The results of the Alpen Capital study showed that the Sultanate has the highest food self-sufficiency rate among the GCC countries, reaching 48% in 2019. The overall self-sufficiency of the GCC region has remained at 31 , 3% in 2019.

According to the report, in 2019-2020, the Ministry of Agriculture of Oman announced that the national agriculture and fisheries sector experienced a growth of 9.8% year-on-year.

The sultanate has been able to meet more than 50 percent of the demand for fruits, eggs and meat, and more than 80 percent of the demand for vegetables through domestic production.

The country’s self-sufficiency rate remained the highest for fish (141.3%) in 2019, while self-sufficiency for grain products (2.2%) was the lowest in the sultanate.

“Increasing local food production and reducing dependence on food imports have long been at the forefront of food security initiatives led by the government of Oman,” the report said.

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