Food security push

BAHRAIN is stepping up efforts to achieve food security and self-sufficiency by planning to boost stocks of local produce such as fish, eggs and livestock.

This was highlighted by Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf during a webinar with Economic Development Board chief executive Khalid Humaidan and other officials yesterday.

The minister said Bahrain offered the private sector and foreign investors ample opportunities that will boost local food production.

“Bahrain has immense potential for investment in marine resources, agriculture and animal wealth which is vital for food security,” said Mr Khalaf.

He spoke about different investment projects, including land allocated in Ras Hayyan for dedicated fish farming projects.

The initiative focuses on local fish, such as hammour, rabbit fish, and different types of sea bream, among others.

“We have offshore areas allocated for fish farming that can be offered to the investors,” added Mr Khalaf.

The GDN previously reported that His Majesty King Hamad gave directives to set up a government-owned company for each type within the project, covering agriculture and fish farming.

The strategy aims to develop national food industrial capabilities, increase local production and preserve the agricultural profession.

The plan also seeks to bolster fish farming with four sites earmarked for the purpose.

The move is expected to raise the local production of vegetables by up to 20 per cent and also achieve 50pc to 62pc self-sufficiency in fish.

Meanwhile, Mr Khalaf said plans were on track to upgrade the abattoirs in the country to increase strategic stock of animal products.

“In addition, we have plans to develop the poultry sector by increasing the production of eggs, and there are plots of land that can be offered to investors,” he said.

In the municipal sector, Mr Khalaf said the investment opportunity featured a revamp of the Hafeera landfill in Askar.

“We would like to see the private sector and foreign investors tap into the new state-of-the-art waste management programme that will work to generate alternative energy from waste,” added Mr Khalaf.

“As a pilot phase, we have started to experiment with recycling farm waste into fertilisers.”

He said Bahrain’s National Waste Management Strategy includes waste sorting, recycling, proper disposal of construction waste.

The overall quantity of waste dumped at the country’s only landfill topped 1.02 million tonnes over the past nine months.



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