Saudi 7-point plan for agriculture

An interesting article in Arab News, explains some facets of Saudi Arabia’s current agricultural policy.

The state-owned Agricultural Development Fund has launched a seven-point initiative that includes the establishment of an agricultural information center, water conservation in irrigation, the outsourcing of wheat and fodder production, marketing infrastructure for vegetables, fruits and  fish, cooperative insurance for livestock sector, especially poultry and a cattle breeding company.

Minister of Agriculture Balghunaim complains that expansion of vegetables and poultry production has lagged behind. While self-sufficiency in eggs has been achieved, the ratio for poultry is only 42 percent for vegetables 85 percent. The Syrian civil war has led to supply disruptions from a traditional supplier, but they can be sourced elsewhere, for example from Morocco in the case of tomatoes as the minister explained.

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