Market Intelligence
Agribusiness Kuwait

Kuwait Agriculture

New opportunities in the agriculture sector in Kuwait

Kuwait is a dry desert environment with extremely hot and dry long summers. Kuwait’s soil is sandy with low organic content and poor moisture content. Natural water resources are minimal; presently, desalinated seawater and brackish groundwater is utilized for agriculture. The harsh climatic conditions, water scarcity and soil resources are the major constraints that are faced by the agriculture sector in Kuwait.

Approximately 90 percent of Kuwait’s land is considered not agriculturally viable. The agricultural areas are located in Wafra the South of Kuwait, Al-Abdali in the North of Kuwait and Al-Sulaibiya in the center. There are 2,880 farms in this region encompassing an approximate area of 141 million meter squared. Supplemental irrigation and protected greenhouse production are heavily relied on due to the environmental and water resource constraints.

Family farming is not prominent in Kuwait, and the majority of farms are not relied on for economical return nor as a main source of income. Vegetables, potatoes, and grains make up the majority of Kuwait’s crop production.

Kuwait faces a high risk of food insecurity as it is not self-sufficient and relies heavily on food imports from other countries due to its relatively low agricultural production.

Although Kuwait’s agricultural sector represents a small part of the nation’s economy due to geographic and political obstacles, there is private company and public sector interest to pursue new technologies that would bring increased production.

New investments in agricultural technology should help improve efficiency by improving water usage and introducing new, hardier crops. Water management is critical and perhaps, the most important project for the future of the sector.

The first large scale indoor vertical farm in the Middle East opened in Kuwait in 2019. Previously, Kuwait has relied on European countries and international imports for most of their leafy greens and herbs; however, local production now includes 250 varieties of greens and herbs using Dryponics technology.

The innovative facility, with approximately 3,000 square meters growing (or farming) space, has a daily output capacity of up to 550 kilograms of salad, herbs, cresses and uses cutting-edge vertical farming methods consuming 90% less water compared to traditional farming, 60% less fertilizer and zero pesticides.

There are additional projects building vertical farms in Kuwait are in the pipeline.

Kuwait Vision 2035:

Kuwait’s 2035 vision aims on transforming the country into a financial and trade hub regionally as well as internationally and improving the business environment to attract investors globally

One of the major pillars of Kuwait’s National Development Plan is to achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Because Kuwait lacks sufficient natural freshwater resources or arable lands, the Government recognizes the need to bring in dry land urban agriculture and innovative technologies as well as other necessary resources and skilled labor to enhance its food production.

Key Governmental Organizations:

There are several programs and organizations that work and support the farming community in Kuwait such as The Public Authority of Agriculture and Fisheries (PAAF), Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), and other governmental entities. Several of these organizations act as platforms in transferring agricultural technologies to farmers to improve farming practices by providing training and learning workshops.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) issued a call (Request for Proposals - RFP) about food security. KFAS funded two pilot projects including one for vertical farming.

However, to be involved in these projects, a U.S. company must work with a local partner. The U.S. Commercial Service-Kuwait team assists American companies with identifying and vetting Kuwaiti companies for potential partnership. Please contact our office for additional information.

The agriculture sector is of great importance due to concerns with food security. The Covid pandemic and subsequent strains on food supply chains further emphasized the need for enhanced local production in the agriculture sector. Adopting new farming concepts and innovative technologies would enhance Kuwait’s ability to face any crisis and rely on its own resources.

For more information, please reach out to Commercial Specialist Rasha Al-Muhtaseb on rasha.al-muhtaseb@trade.gov

09/25/2021