Saturday, 6 December 2014

Ministry of Agriculture to promote sea food consumption

The Ministry of Agriculture has stepped up efforts to halt the decline in seafood consumption and to boost fish production, which will go a long way in ensuring food security on national and regional levels. The ministry has also announced an ambitious target to produce one million tons of fish annually within a few years from now.
Ahmed bin Saleh Al-Aiadh, general director of aquaculture department at the Ministry of Agriculture, said here Wednesday that "the per capita consumption of fish and fish products stands at 9 to 10 kilograms annually in Saudi Arabia compared to about 62 kgs in Japan." He said: "We are also much below the global average in terms of consumption.”
Al-Aiadh was speaking at a press briefing after formally inaugurating the “Sea Food Festival” here at the Lulu Hypermarket. The inaugural event was attended by a large number of guests and top Lulu executives including Abdul Saleem, Lulu's regional manager; Shafeek Rahman, commercial manager; and Bashar Naser Al-Bashar, chief of administration.
Asked about move to promote sea food consumption in Saudi Arabia, Al-Aiadh said that "it’s a shared responsibility." He called on the private sector, the health professionals, the nutritionists and the media to join hands to generate awareness about the benefits of fish and fish products. He also called on them for reversing the decline in fish consumption among the younger generation.
He pointed out that the Saudi government has licensed several aquaculture farms in the Kingdom. To this end, it must be noted that the Ministry of Agriculture has already invested an additional $10.6 billion into aquaculture projects to produce one million tons of fish in the next 16 years.
Speaking at the press briefing, Abdul Saleem, Lulu regional manager, said that a variety of sea food including fish biryani, grilled sea food and fish sandwiches are also on sale. He pointed out that this is the fourth consecutive year for Lulu to hold the sea food festival in Saudi Arabia. The five-day long festival has been organized by all the Lulu Hypermarkets across the Kingdom.
Besides showcasing more than 100 varieties of fish including live fish for sale on this occasion, Lulu Hypermarkets across the Kingdom have organized colorful activities for kids and families on this occasion. A cooking contest has also been organized on the sidelines of the festival. "A variety of sea food including fish biryani, grilled sea food and fish sandwiches are also on sale," added Saleem.
He said that the festival is unique in the sense that it features some of the rare fish species imported from different corners of the world. They include Norwegian salmon, Egyptian tilapia, crabs, live lobsters, shrimps, oyster, cod fillet, and Canadian lobster.

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