Food security in Oman

Analysis of food security in Oman

The problem of food security remains a challenge for all countries, whether developed or developing, and this problem is especially exacerbated with the rise in local food prices in low- and middle-income countries. Many people in these countries are experiencing high food price inflation, with prices reaching as high as 83.3% in low-income countries and 93% in lower-middle-income countries, as well as 93% in upper-middle-income countries. Many of these countries are seeing inflation levels exceeding 5%. Many individuals in these countries suffer from poverty as a result of high food prices, exacerbating the global hunger and malnutrition crisis. Reports indicate that many high-income countries have experienced an increase in food price inflation, and restrictions have been imposed on food trade with the aim of increasing domestic supplies and reducing prices. As of November 2022, 19 countries have implemented 23 measures to ban food exports, and eight countries have implemented 12 measures to restrict exports. The Sultanate of Oman has sought to address these challenges by taking a set of measures and strategies to support food security and achieve an adequate level of food security, especially in light of the current global challenges. The Sultanate has developed a strategic plan to achieve food security, focusing on promoting projects in the agricultural, livestock and fisheries sectors.

Within this context, the Sultanate directed its attention to establishing the Oman Food Investment Holding Company, a government company owned by the Oman Investment Authority, with the aim of enhancing the country’s food security by investing in food-related projects at the local and international levels, in cooperation with local investment funds and national and international investment companies. The projects implemented by the Sultanate of Oman focus on wheat production, fish farming, livestock projects, as well as vegetable and fruit projects. The diversity of these projects contributes to achieving food security and raising domestic product.

In July 2022, 28 land usufruct contracts were signed between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning and the Ministry of Agricultural Wealth, Fisheries and Water Resources with private sector institutions, with the aim of implementing agricultural, livestock and fishery projects in various governorates of the Sultanate. These projects include wheat production, expanding the fish farming sector, developing livestock projects, and growing vegetables and fruits. The following table shows these indicators and the ranking that the Sultanate achieved globally during the year 2022, competing with 113 countries:

Indicator Ranking
Food access index 21 globally
Food abundance index 34 globally
Food quality and safety index 42 globally
Sustainability and Adaptation Index 60 globally

The table shows the progress of the State of Oman in the food security index, as the Sultanate of Oman advanced by (13.8) degrees in the food security index as it is the country that has achieved the most progress in its score at the international level from 2012 until 2022.

It also advanced (5) places, and was ranked (35) according to the Global Food Security Index for the year 2022, achieving (71.2) points out of (100). The Sultanate of Oman came in (21) place in the food access index, and ranked ( 34) in the food abundance index, ranked (42) in the food quality and safety index, and ranked (60) in the sustainability and adaptation index.

The following table shows the other sub-indices that the Sultanate acquired in the index. These indicators are represented as points, with a maximum of 100 points:

Indicator Points
Change in average food costs 98.5
Proportion of the population living below the global poverty line 99.3
Food Safety Network Program 100
Nutritional standards 88.7

The Sultanate of Oman has strengthened its food security system by establishing many projects in various fields such as agriculture, livestock, fish, and water resources. The Sultanate achieved self-sufficiency in the fisheries sector and recorded progress in the poultry sector. The total projects being pursued in the food security sector include about 102 projects, including agriculture, fisheries and water resources. There is an integration between these projects to ensure food security and enhance the ability to meet food needs in a sustainable manner.

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