Saudi Agro Lobby Strikes Back

Water guzzling wheat production in Saudi Arabia will not go without a fight. Apparently, agro-interests have brought the powerful Minister of Interior and Crown Prince Naif on board:

Wheat farming to be studied afresh

DHAHRAN – The Ministry of Interior and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) recently signed an agreement for the university to conduct a study on “providing the Kingdom’s need for wheat amid the scarcity of water resources”….

He said previous studies on the subject had not been adequate. Al-Sinani said he was confident the university would produce balanced results…

the ministerial committee was keen to carry out a study that would determine the exact effect this farming has on the country’s water resources. The Kingdom wants to grow wheat locally to achieve food security and to depend less on imports…

Al-Sinani said the Kingdom’s policy had previously focused on safeguarding water,  There are areas that have abundant groundwater but no population. He stressed that wheat is a strategic crop and discussions are taking place to grow it once again without affecting water reserves…..

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