African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Article in Press

The impact of nutritional sovereignty of red meat on water consumption in Saudi Arabia agricultural sector

Suliman A. Almojel, Adel M. Ghanem, Khalid N. Alrwis, Sahar A. Kamara, Sharafeldin B. Ahmed and Yusuf A. Krimly

  •  Received: 30 November 2023
  •  Accepted: 30 January 2024
Given the dependency of red meat production on water-depleting fodder crops, this research aimed to measure the impact of the nutritional sovereignty of red meat on water consumption in the agricultural sector. The most important findings of this study reveal that the total water used in the production of red meat amounted to 46.68 billion cubic meters, representing 10.14% of the total water consumption in the agricultural sector during the period 1995 to 2022. The volume of water used in red meat production depends on several factors; with the most significant being the ratio of the area dedicated to fodder crops to the total cropped area and the ratio of the area of green fodder to the total area of fodder crops. Additionally, a 10% increase in the estimated amount of water used in red meat production results in a marginal 0.22% increase in overall water usage in the agricultural sector. This is attributed to a reduction in the area of green fodder and the Agricultural Development Fund's adoption of initiatives to enhance sheep multiplication and improvement. To achieve sustainable development goals in the face of water scarcity, the following actions are required: (1) persisting in the cessation of green fodder cultivation to conserve water for future generations, (2) leveraging virtual water obtained from imports and Saudi agricultural investments abroad.

Keywords: Food sovereignty, red meat, fodder crops, water resources.