The past couple of years or so have seen a steady increase in once stable food prices in Saudi Arabia but lately we have seen vegetable and staple food prices jumping in price and the past couple of months has seen some very drastic price increases or food shortages. One friend living in Jeddah remarked that she was having difficulty finding flour. News channels and websites have been reporting about global food shortages caused by a variety of factors including urabanisation which leaves less arable land, growing middle classes in developing countries making greater demand on a variety of foods, the use of wheat as a bio-fuel and so forth...
The price of rice has risen by as much as 70% during the past year, with...and prices are set to keep on rising.
increases accelerating in recent weeks...
In a bid to solve food problems in India, India has implemented a rice export ban on all non-Basmati rice which is having repercussions in the Middle East since rice is also very widely eaten here. Prices are risely quite drastically (Asian states feel rice pinch) and some goverments are subsidising rice and some companies are helping by selling rice at cost price. But for how long can they sustain this?
The growing appetite among Asia's burgeoning urban middle class, especially in
India and China, for meat and dairy products is also leading to less land for
Gulf and Arab residents feel the pinch of rising prices
The cost of food: facts and figures
Families' shopping list
On top of all this there is a warning about a potential water shortage in the coming decades if the Middle East does not start tackling the problem of water wastage.
Interesting to note that 1000-2000 litres of water are needed to produce just 1 kilo of wheat and 10,000-13,000 litres of water are needed to produce 1 kilo of beef. *