Arab News informed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is currently implementing 16 projects under the FAO-Saudi Technical Cooperation Programme.

‘Under the programme the Kingdom has been given agricultural development goals related to food security and the sustainable use of natural resources’ said Mouhab Fouad Alawar, FAO information and communication officer.

The development goals include minimizing reliance on oil as a main source of income diversification of production base and reducing dependence on imports of food commodities.

The projects include the establishment of an international date farm centre, improvement of research for sustainable camel production, genetic breeding of Arabian horses, development of non-conventional water sources in Al-Hassa and giving support to small-scale farmers.

Other projects include

  • Strengthening and supporting further the development of local aquaculture,
  • Strengthening of the national capacity to control diseases in plants and animals,
  • Development and extension of technology transfer to farmers,
  • Strengthening the capacity of the MOA’s staff
  • Development of oil production and processing technique
  • Development of technology transfer in horticulture,
  • Conservation of natural forests,
  • Development of integrated pest and pesticide management
  • Development of irrigation water management
  • Supporting international cooperation and improving animal production in the Kingdom.

These projects were formulated on the basis of priorities as set out in the 9th Saudi Development Plan by the Agriculture Ministry’s Agricultural Development Strategy up to 2030 as well as the Country Programme Framework (CPF) and the new FAO Strategic Objectives Framework.

Alawar said that with the help of FAO, the local agricultural sector has benefited from favourable government policies and programmes including subsidies, interest-free loans and other assistance services.

MENAFN – Arab News – 08/01/2015