The global organic farming market has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, driven by increasing consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable food choices.
Recent reports predict that the organic farming market in the UAE will grow significantly from the estimated value of USD 33.25 million in 2022 to reveal a CAGR of 4.25% through 2028. The growth is mainly due to the widespread production, consumption, and import of organic food products in the UAE, reflecting the global trend. Government regulations and initiatives further support this development, contributing to the organic farming market trends as a focus for business growth.
Additional reports reflect similar growth in Saudi Arabia, where the organic farming market was valued at USD 10.61 million in 2023 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 7.88% through 2029. With sustainability as a key pillar in the government’s Vision 2030 strategy, investment in agriculture is a significant focus.
Businesses with an interest in the organic farming market and agribusiness are wise to keep updated with trends and developments in the industry.
Latest Trends in the Organic Farming Market
The organic farming market is constantly evolving, responding to consumer preferences that are shifting towards healthier and more environmentally conscious options. For example, organic produce suppliers in the UAE noticed delivery sales spike as much as 400% during the coronavirus pandemic.
With the forecast predicting rapid growth in the organic farming market, staying informed about the latest trends is critical to success.
Awareness of new organic farming techniques, market demand for products, and evolving certification standards are just a few areas worth considering for businesses to succeed in the competitive sector. Agriculture consultancy services are a powerful tool to stay on top of the latest trends (and understand how to implement them).
Elements of UAE & Saudi Arabia’s Organic Farming Market Forecast
In theory, the organic farming market is filled with potential, but the reality in the UAE and Saudi Arabia presents a few challenges. For example, the arid desert climate, water scarcity, and high temperatures create unfavorable conditions for traditional organic agriculture.
The region has to adapt to meet the growing demand for toxin-free food and organic produce. Leveraging technology and advanced agricultural practices, the UAE implements drip irrigation, oasis farming, hydroponics, and other artificial processes. While these methods help overcome certain difficulties, they also introduce a dependency on excessive use of pesticides and weedicides.
As pests thrive in the UAE’s arid climate, agricultural businesses with a sustainable agenda have learned to overcome these hurdles, producing organic produce to meet consumer demand. By prioritizing toxin-free foods, businesses negotiate pest and disease management complexities.
The UAE government has taken deliberate steps to ensure organic products meet certain standards of quality and authenticity. By introducing rigorous regulations, the government helps consumers access healthy, organic produce while contributing to food security.
Sustainability has also been a focus of the Saudi Arabian government for some time. For example, in 2005, the Ministry of Agriculture commissioned GIZ to help develop an organic sector in the region and introduced the first National Regulation and Standards for Organic Agriculture in 2011.
Another development is the rise in innovative farming practices such as vertical farming and hydroponics. Urban spaces are used for agricultural processes, helping manage region-specific challenges such as water scarcity.
Major Players in the UAE & Saudi Arabia’s Organic Farming Market
There are a few prominent players in the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s organic farming market, setting an example for future growth. Consider the following as examples.
Emirates Bio Farm (EBF)
Emirates Bio Farm is the largest organic farm in the UAE, specializing in producing organic vegetables, fruits, and eggs, grown using drip irrigation and hydroponics to counter water scarcity challenges. All produce is certified and delivered to customers within 24 hours of harvest, with a strong focus on delivering seasonal produce. EBF also educates the public about the impact of dietary choices on the environment.
Saif Al Shamsi of the Bufjair Trading Company (BTC)
Also known as the Desert Organic Farm, Saif Al Shamsi of the Bufjair Trading Company (BTC) has been farming organically since 2007, increasing their produce to include more than 50 crops grown, which are harvested according to organic principles. Natural solutions fertilize the soil and keep pests away, ensuring the produce meets the expected standards.
Green Heart Organic Farms
As a player in the “quiet revolution ongoing in the organic farming space,” Green Heart Organic Farms produces organic produce for delivery and invites locals to visit the space. Green Heart Organic Farms collaborates globally to bolster food security, sourcing organic produce from organic farms in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and India.
Key Trends in the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s Organic Farming Market
As the demand for organic products continues to gain momentum in the Middle East, understanding the key trends shaping the organic farming markets in the UAE and Saudi Arabia becomes increasingly crucial.
Pest and Disease Management Strategies
One of the key market challenges for organic farming is pest and disease management, especially in the arid climate, creating a space for innovative management strategies. Organic farming adheres to strict pest and disease management guidelines and uses biological control agents, crop rotation, and cultivating resistant crop varieties to overcome this challenge.
For example, Saif Al Shamsi of the Bufjair Trading Company (BTC) uses a fermented mixture of chili powder, cloves, bread yeast, garlic, honey, and water to keep pests, worms, and fungi at bay.
Increased Focus on Greenhouses (and Controlled Environment Agriculture)
Another significant trend in the region is incorporating controlled agricultural environments to counter harsh natural resources such as dry climate and water scarcity. Greenhouses, such as those used by Pure Harvest Farms, and Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) techniques are gaining popularity in the region.
Indoor farming allows farmers to control and manage factors such as temperature, humidity, light, and nutrient levels better. By producing optimal growing conditions, farmers can meet the demand for organic produce without compromising the integrity of the produce.
CEAs also leverage advanced technologies, such as hydroponics and vertical farming, to optimize resources and improve food security.
Agricultural Insights With Ollen Group
At Ollen Group, we provide insightful farming consultancy services focusing on the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the broader MENA region while incorporating a global perspective. We understand the intricacies and trends of the sector and how to maximize business growth.
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