Bahrain Agriculture and Fishing Overview

Bahrain Facts

Bahrain is a modern Arab country specializing in oil refining and international banking
Capital: Manama
Official language: Arabic
Currency: Bahraini dinar
Passport and visa: Visa required, more information from our office.
Time difference to Finland:
Daylight saving time is not used

Agriculture and fishing

Since Bahrain is largely desert, agriculture contributes only less than one percent of gross domestic product (GDP). An increasing salt content in the soil, as well as increasing investments in the tourism sector, means that the proportion of cultivated land is constantly shrinking.

  • CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Bahrain. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.

The lack of fresh water is a concern. To remedy this to some extent, large plants have been built for desalination of seawater. Extensive investments have been made to expand the irrigation of agricultural land, partly through the recycling of wastewater.

The cultivable land is found along the northern coast of the main island of Bahrain. There, especially, dates, tomatoes and melons are harvested. Breeding of cows, goats, sheep and camels occurs, and milk and eggs are produced. The state owns most of the land. For Bahrain defense and foreign policy, please check recipesinthebox.

The date crops are said to have declined in recent years, although the dates have a given place both as staple goods and on the banquet tables during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Since the United Nations Organization Unesco 2019, on the proposal of Arab countries, the dates classified as a World Heritage site encourages Bahrain new cultivation, which could reduce the need for imports from neighboring countries.

The fishing industry has problems caused by depletion and environmental degradation. In order to improve the fishing opportunities, the state has planted fish and renovated the fishing facilities. Nevertheless, half of the fish consumed by the Bahraini must be imported.


Agriculture’s share of GDP

0.3 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

11.1 percent (2016)

  • Offers how the 3-letter acronym of BHR stands for the state of Bahrain in geography.



Rajab remains in custody

December 28

A court orders that human rights activist Nabil Rajab be released on bail. But shortly thereafter, hopes are raised that the sick 52-year-old will be released from custody, when prosecutors say he must stay ahead of a new case. He is suspected, among other things, of insulting a state institution and Saudi Arabia via Twitter. Earlier this autumn, the United States urged the government to release Rajab immediately. New charges have been filed against Rajab after he claimed in a letter in the New York Times that there are 4,000 political prisoners in the country. Rajab writes that Bahrain captures more than any other country in the Middle East, per capita, and exposes people to “torture and even death” for striving for democracy.


Amnesty criticizes the arrests

1 September

Human rights organization Amnesty International calls on Bahrain to stop the toughening demonstrations against the Shia opposition, after some 60 people were arrested following a sitting strike in protest against the arrest of Isa Qasim.


Trial begins against Qasim

July 27

Shia Muslim leader Isa Qasim is accused of illegally collecting money and money laundering. Among other things, he has deposited more than $ 10 million in private accounts and also kept large sums in cash, the prosecutor says. Two advisers are also brought to trial in the case.

138 are accused of terrorism and espionage

July 26

Authorities say that 86 people in detention and 52 who are on detention are suspected of being part of the “Zulfiqar Brigades” terror group with links to Iran.

al-Wifaq is banned

July 17

A court orders that the leading opposition group be dissolved and its assets seized by the state. The UN, Britain, the US and Iran condemn the decision but the government dismisses the criticism.


Judgments against IS suspects

June 23rd

A court sentenced 24 people to jail for allegedly belonging to an IS cell, and 13 of them are deprived of their citizenship. One is selected as the founder of the group and sentenced to life while the others receive 15 years in prison. Only eight of them are in custody, the rest are on the loose.

UN criticism against Bahrain

June 22

Adama Dieng’s Special Counsel for the World Society for Preventing Genocide criticizes Bahrain for its decision to deprive Isa Qasim of citizenship, and for the oppression of dissent in general. He warns that Bahrain and the region are at a “critical stage”. According to Dieng, up to 250 people have now been deprived of citizenship in Bahrain. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has also lamented the hard action against the opposition in Bahrain.

Isa Qasim is deprived of citizenship

June 20

The Ministry of the Interior announces that the country’s highest Shiite leader has been deprived of his citizenship. Isa Qasim is said to have established organizations that are under foreign religious and political leadership, and have played a crucial role in creating an “extreme sectarian environment” to divide society. The message is followed by a threat from Iran: the head of the Revolutionary Guard says it can “set the region on fire” as the people thus have no choice but must resort to “armed resistance”. Iran’s foreign ministry has also criticized the Shi’a leader’s actions.

Terror-accused Shiites are sentenced

June 16

Eight Shia Muslims are sentenced to 15 years in prison and deprived of their citizenship. They have been accused of forming a terrorist group called “Bahrain Hezbollah “.

al-Wifaq is switched off

June 14

A court orders that the political group’s office be closed and its assets frozen. The order follows a request from the Justice Department that refers to the security of the Kingdom. According to al-Wifaq’s lawyers, the decision comes completely unexpectedly. They pull out of the process against the party a few weeks later and say that they are not given a reasonable time or opportunity to manage the defense.

Leading human rights activist is arrested again

June 13th

Nabil Rajab is picked up by police and his home in a Shiite village near Manama is searched (see July 2015).


19 convicted of attacks on police

May 26

Five Shi’ite Muslims are sentenced to life imprisonment for an attack on a police station, while another 14 Shiites are sentenced to between 3 and 15 years in prison for another attack on police. Several other people have been sentenced to long prison terms earlier this year, including life, after being convicted of various “terrorist offenses”.


The government publishes terror list

April 11

A list of 68 Islamist groups regarded as terrorist organizations is published. In addition to Hezbollah (see March 2017), IS, al- Islamic State of Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap), al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (Aqim), Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Murabitoun in Mali and Islamic Jihad in Egypt are on the list. There are also three smaller Shiite Muslim groups in Bahrain: the al-Ashtar Brigades, the Resistance Brigades and the February 14 coalition.


Famous activist is imprisoned

14th of March

Zainab al-Khawaja is taken to jail with a one-year-old son. In October 2015, Khawaja received a three-year prison sentence reduced to one year, which she says she will now serve (see also December 2014). After just over two months, at the end of May, she is released for “humanitarian reasons” and allowed to leave prison with her son, after which she also leaves the country.

GCC terrorist stamps Lebanese Hezbollah

March 2

The Arabian Peninsula Cooperation Organization decides that the Shi’ite Lebanese movement is a terrorist organization. Almost two weeks later, the authorities state that Lebanese citizens have been forced to leave Bahrain because they are said to belong to Hezbollah. How many of these are unclear, but in Lebanese media, ten families have been reported.


Opposition leaders imprisoned

February 24th

Ibrahim Sharif, who is a Sunni Muslim, is sentenced to one year in prison for incitement to hatred in connection with a speech held at a memorial for a 16-year-old who was shot dead by the police. Amnesty International calls the verdict an attack on freedom of speech, saying that Sharif advocated only peaceful reforms.

Unrest on the anniversary of the uprising

February 14th

Protesters meet with police on the fifth anniversary of the first demonstration at Pärltorget 2011.


Relations with Iran are broken

January 4th

Protests against Saudi Arabia erupt after Saudi authorities executed a prominent Shiite leader on January 2. But the government is breaking diplomatic relations with Iran as a result of violent protests there against the execution and a raging conflict between Riyadh and Tehran. In February, the government will announce that the government has introduced travel restrictions and oversight of money shipments to counter Iran’s “involvement” in Bahrain.

Bahrain Agriculture and Fishing