Bahrain plans strategies on food pricing, security and regulation
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain is ‘coming up’ with new strategies that will include food pricing, as well as policies to establish a single food regulatory in the Kingdom, BCCI Food Sector Committee chairman Khaled Al Amin said.
“Everybody now wants to focus on food security. The challenge is to put all the food affairs under one ministry or under one body, so there is one authority regulating everything,” Mr Al Amin said.
“There are no new announcements on these strategies, but Bahrain is coming up. The strategy will be there in time and the Minister of Industry will announce it, which will focus on food pricing, food supply and food security,” he stated.
Bahrain and Qatar
When asked a question about relations between Bahrain and Qatar and how logistics would move ahead, Al-Amin stated that countries must move ahead to progress.
“If you want to progress, the project has to move ahead. If the project doesn’t move ahead there’s no progress. We trust our leadership in Bahrain and the GCC.”
Speaking on current issues that face Bahrain, Al Amin said, “For the food supply they should open the containers at the importer warehouse, instead of on the port as opening at the port would lead to a reduction in quality.”
Egypt and India
Al Amin also spoke about the current challenges between countries Egypt and India. Egypt has been facing food security challenges for years as it heavily relies on imported wheat to meet domestic demand.
The country also imports a large amount of rice and other grains to cover needs, and Russia’s recent withdrawal from the Black Sea grain-export initiative, as well as India’s restrictions on rice exports have caused grave concerns for Egypt.
“It’s a political problem. Usually when the election is close the government will ban export of the most important food.”
Bahrain’s market is stable
Even though Bahrain imports 96 percent to 98 percent of its food, Al Amin highlighted that Bahrain’s supply and market is stable, and there are no problems currently.
“The food supply and chain are there, and we are building our food security step by step. We have started with Bafco and we want to continue from there,” the chairman of the Food Sector Committee at BCCI stated. He stated during the meeting that Bahrain is also working to implement its sugar refinery that is now in progress to be reopened.
Last December, a multi-million-dinar agreement had been signed by the Industry and Commerce Industry to set up a sugar manufacturing project at Salman Industrial town. The deal would lease a plot to Bahrain sugar refinery to launch the project at Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP).