RIYADH: Saudi agriculture officials on Monday launched a United Nations mentorship program for farmers in Taif aimed at encouraging sustainable development.
Initiated by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the program aims to contribute to the introducing more efficient farming practices through sharing information on proven techniques and providing access to industry experts.
Ministry Director for Taif, Hani Al-Kadi, said, “Taif is no less important than other cities in the Kingdom, due to its agricultural diversity and annual abundance of crops.
He noted that introducing farmers to effective farming concepts and goals would go a long way to “produce safe and sustainable food, maintain consumer confidence, ensure awareness of the exploitation of natural resources and reduce environmental damage”.
Kakoli Ghosh, FAO’s chief technical adviser for the programme, said global advances in farming methods and practices had helped to increase production, job opportunities and living standards for smallholder farmers, while preserving natural resources for future generations.
She pointed out that the program will include visits to Taif farms in Al-Hada, Al-Shafa, Wadi Mahram and Al-Dayha.
FAO has prepared 100 demonstration farms to promote modern practices and technologies, which are expected to have a positive impact on farmers and encourage agricultural sustainability in rural areas.
The Saudi Ministry first launched the Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program in cooperation with FAO in 2019. It was designed to boost the production, processing and marketing of fruits, fish, livestock and Arabic coffee. , as well as rain-fed cultivation. harvests.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and increase contributions to gross domestic product by pushing sustainable development across all sectors of the economy. One of the main areas of interest has been the conservation of natural resources, including the rationalization of water consumption in agriculture and the achievement of food security.