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Saudi Arabia: there is no desert that holds, agriculture booming (+38%)

Thanks to integrated water management, the country has achieved high levels of self-sufficiency

Driven by increased investment and measures to promote sustainable development, Saudi Arabia's agricultural gross domestic product grew by more than 38% in 2022 to 100 billion riyals (US$26.6 billion) from 72.25 billion riyals in 2021.

During the 43rd session of the General Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Saudi Deputy Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Mansour Al-Mushaiti said this achievement marks the most highest contribution of the sector to GDP in its history, as reported by Al Arabiya.

Thanks to integrated water management, Saudi Arabia has achieved high levels of self-sufficiency in various crops, especially those using modern technologies. As a result, water consumption in agriculture has decreased from 86% to 70%, added the deputy minister. Al-Mushaiti stressed that the significant developments and investments made in the agricultural sector have had a positive impact on the GDP.

The deputy minister stressed that the Kingdom has adopted various strategies, initiatives and programs to promote sustainable agricultural development and improve water management to conserve natural and environmental resources.

Saudi Arabia's Agricultural Development Fund has adopted several policies in support of modern technologies, which provide loans for more than 70% of the capital costs of agricultural projects.

Al-Mushaiti confirmed that the loan ratio had increased significantly from 500 million riyals in 2015 to more than 7 billion riyals in 2022.

These efforts are in line with FAO's goals to achieve global food security and fight hunger and poverty at the local, regional and international levels.
The increase in agricultural GDP has been steady for a couple of years, as it achieved 7.8% growth in 2021 compared to 2020.

The leap is attributed to the Kingdom's 2030 National Agriculture Strategy, which seeks to bring about a sustainable sector capable of achieving food and water security and economic, social and environmental development.

The strategy also aspires to use modern technologies and practices to conserve natural resources and improve agricultural productivity, while leveraging strategic partnerships with cooperatives, the private sector and research centres.

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EFA News - European Food Agency