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Kuwait: Agriculture and Fishing
Country Study > Chapter 5 > Economy > Agriculture and Fishing

AGRICULTURE AND FISHING


Agriculture has also seen minimal development. Kuwait's desert climate sustains little vegetation. Kuwait has no rivers, only a few wadis that fill with winter and spring rain. Scant rainfall, little irrigation water, and poor soils have always limited farming in Kuwait. Before the discovery of oil, several occupations contributed to the economy -- nomads moving livestock to the sparse forage in the desert, pearling, and fishing -- but none of these occupations provided much beyond subsistence. Once the government began receiving oil revenues, the contribution of other sectors to national income was reduced still further, and smaller amounts of cucumbers and eggplants. Some of these crops are grown hydroponically. Although Kuwait manages to export some vegetables, its agricultural potential remains limited.

Fishing provides a minor but important economic contribution. Much of the fishing for the local market was historically from small boats, including many native dhows. Large-scale commercial fishing is mostly confined to the United Fisheries of Kuwait, which operates a fleet of vessels as far afield as the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. United Fisheries is a large, international firm that processes and exports part of its catch, particularly frozen shrimp. However, in the 1970s overfishing in the gulf by many states considerably reduced catches of fish and shrimp. In 1989 Kuwait had a catch of approximately 4,700 tons of fish and 3,000 tons of shrimp and prawns. In the late 1980s, war and environmental damage, including oil spills, also reduced the attractiveness of the gulf fishing industry.

Data as of January 1993




Last Updated: January 1993


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Kuwait was first published in 1993. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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