RIYADH — The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) announced that dates recorded the highest rate of self-sufficiency among all plant-based products in Saudi Arabia, with a 124% rating in 2022.

GASTAT released the self-sufficiency rates of key agriculture products for 2022. The report indicated that potatoes registered 80% self-sufficiency, tomatoes 67%, onions 44%, and citrus 15%.

As for animal products, dairy items ranked first as the most self-sufficient animal product at a rate of 118%, followed by eggs at 117%, and fish at 48%.

The total area of ​​organic farming in Saudi Arabia reached 19,119 hectares, the report indicated, explaining that the organic cultivation of fruit crops (except for dates) came first with 11,536 hectares, or 60.3%, followed by the area of ​​organic cultivation of date palms at 20.8 percent.

Organic farming production reached 95,299 tons in 2022, and fruit (except for dates) accounted for 70.9% of the total organic agriculture production.

Regarding organic breeding, the report stated that the number of organic beehives reached 7,600 hives in Saudi Arabia in 2022, which witnessed a growth rate of 31% compared to 2021. The number of cows in organic projects amounted to 610 cows in 2022.

Moreover, the total agricultural imports reached 29,376,000 tons in 2022, the report said, noting that grains had the largest share with 45.2% of imports.

Agricultural exports grew by 14%, with a total of 3,687,000 tons in 2022, compared to 2021. The exports of dairy products, eggs, and natural honey constituted 20.1% of the total agricultural exports in the previous year, the report revealed.

GASTAT's report also revealed the loans granted by the Agricultural Development Fund to beneficiaries, and bank credits provided to agriculture and fishing activity, clarifying that the value of loans distributed to all kinds of beneficiaries including farmers, agricultural projects, fishermen and beekeepers reached SR5.3 billion in 2022.

The number of agricultural projects that were funded by the Agricultural Development Fund in 2022 reached 50, of which 15 were broiler chicken projects with a value of SR311 million, and 15 greenhouses with a value of SR149 million. The value of bank credit provided for agriculture and fishing activity was SR11.5 billion in 2022.

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