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Impact of climate change on food security in Saudi Arabia: a roadmap to agriculture-water sustainability

Mohammad Imdadul Haque (College of Business Administration, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia)
Md Riyazuddin Khan (Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India)

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2044-0839

Article publication date: 24 July 2020

Issue publication date: 1 February 2022




The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed analysis of the trends in temperature and rainfall over the period 1967–2016 (50 years) for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and estimate the effect of these climatic changes on major crop production.


To set up an empirical association between crop yields and climatic variables, the study uses a fixed effect regression framework. This approach makes it possible to capture the effects of time-invariant indicators and farmers' independent adaptation strategies in reaction to year-to-year variations in precipitation and temperature.


The study observes a significant increase in average temperature by 1.9 degrees Celsius in the last 50 years and the greatest increase is noted in the summer. However, there is no significant change in rainfall. The results indicate that a one-degree Celsius increase in temperature reduces crop yields by 7–25%. The results also indicate that rainfall has a positive effect on all the crops. But, rainfall could not offset much of the adverse effects of temperature.

Research limitations/implications

Future research can focus on the analysis of the climate change impact assessment for different regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and develop a place-based policy.


The recent initiative to phase out crop production makes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia entirely rely on imports. This may have little or no impact presently. However, in the future, it is possible that any global shocks on agriculture due to climate change or geopolitical instability will make the situation worse off. It will threaten both food and nutrition security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is important to study these in the present context to prepare a road map for future food, water and nutrition security.



This project was supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research at Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University under the research project # 2019/02/11185.


Haque, M.I. and Khan, M.R. (2022), "Impact of climate change on food security in Saudi Arabia: a roadmap to agriculture-water sustainability", Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 1-18.



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