1999 News Story

Agricultural exports rise as imports drop

Minister of Agriculture and Water Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Mu'amar has reported that the value of Saudi Arabia's food imports dropped 12 percent in 1998, to SR 17.6 billion (U.S. $ 4.69 billion). This is a direct result of the fact that local agricultural production is supplying a larger share of the nutritional needs of the Kingdom's residents. Moreover, the Kingdom's exports of food products rose in 1998, to a value of SR 1.66 billion (U.S. $ 0.44 billion). In 1997 the agricultural sector's contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was SR 33.4 billion (U.S. $ 8.91 billion), corresponding to about 10.3 percent of the non-oil GDP.