Shura Council members, MPs, businessmen and experts have warned against GCC countries’ heavy reliance on food imports to meet the needs of their populations, as they will be facing global price fluctuations and may be threatened in the event of global crises such as supply shortages or conflicts. Moreover, the Arabian Gulf countries are facing rapid population growth and environmental and climatic challenges as a result of the scarcity of water resources and suitable agricultural lands, they said.

Although Bahrain and Gulf states are able to provide food commodities even during crises such as the Covid pandemic and the supply chain interruption, some emphasised that the decisions of a number of countries to ban the export of basic commodities is a warning bell that requires the adoption of a strategic national plan to increase the self-sufficiency rate of basic commodities.

They said GCC countries must develop long-term plans and strategies to gradually enhance their ability to produce food locally and in the Gulf by at least 80 per cent of their food needs to ensure food security.This can be achieved by speeding up the establishment of the Gulf food security network under the umbrella of the GCC, which will have a great impact in filling any shortage in any of the Gulf countries, they pointed out.

They commended the successful government initiatives in Bahrain, which contributed to the local market stability through the continuous provision of goods and the development of a plan to secure their flow for several months.

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