Saudi Agriculture: We are targeting the sustainability of vital resources within...
Riyadh – Mubasher: The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has confirmed that it is working to ensure the sustainability of vital resources, within the framework of achieving the objectives of the National Transformation Program.
And the Ministry of Agriculture explained that this is through achieving food security and ensuring sustainable utilization of water resources, and protecting the environment from natural hazards, according to the Saudi News Agency, “SPA”, today, Wednesday.
It indicated that, through the National Transformation Program, it launched a number of initiatives concerned with achieving and sustaining food security in the Kingdom, which contributed to the Kingdom being one of the largest countries in possession of food stocks in the Middle East.
She indicated that the Kingdom achieved the 30th position in the index for the year 2019, two places ahead of the previous year, and Saudi Arabia ranked fourth among the Gulf and Arab countries.
The National Transformation Program, led by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, contributed to achieving this achievement through the development of the strategic food storage management program, which included the establishment of the Yanbu Port silos project to enhance the storage capacities of grains in the Kingdom in general and the reception capacity of ships in Saudi ports in particular.
The project has a capacity of 120,000 tons, bringing the total storage capacity available in the Kingdom to nearly 3.5 million tons, and the project includes establishing the largest grain unloading point in the port of Yanbu, with a daily capacity of 12,000 tons, and 14 branches for grain storage.
To reduce food loss and waste, which constitutes a major risk factor in achieving food security, the General Grain Corporation conducted a field study that was the first of its kind in the region, to determine the baseline value of the food loss and waste index in the Kingdom.
The study included all regions of the Kingdom, in more than 35 cities and governorates, with the participation of more than 600 male and female researchers.
The study targeted the 19 most basic food commodities, and the study concluded that the baseline value of the percentage of food loss and waste in the Kingdom was 33.1 percent, with an amount exceeding 4 million tons / year, while the loss rate reached 14.2 percent, and the waste amounted to 18.9 percent.
In terms of all food commodities in the Kingdom, the total value of waste is only estimated at more than 40 billion riyals annually, accounting for 18.9 percent of consumer spending on food in the Kingdom, and for this reason, the National Program to Reduce Food Loss and Waste was launched within the National Transformation Program initiatives.
The Agricultural Development Fund also provided loans that exceeded one billion two hundred million riyals, bringing the total amounts provided to about nine billion riyals, and Saudi Arabia’s GAP standards were launched and implemented, and the equivalent of two hundred thousand tons of vegetables, fruits and field crops were produced according to these standards.
The National Transformation Program was able to raise the Kingdom’s production and exports of fish farming from 72 thousand tons in 2018 to 85 thousand tons in 2019, which contributed to: enabling the Kingdom to export its first shipments of Saudi shrimp to China, increasing the Kingdom’s fish exports and diversifying sources of income, Achieving food security and rural development, training of cadres and increasing job opportunities.
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