Deputy Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Eng. Mansour Bin Hilal Al-Mushaiti stressed that Saudi Arabia has taken important steps towards improving agricultural development, enhancing food security, facing climate change, increasing temperatures, and scarce water resources to write a success story of its own.
The concerted efforts all together has contributed to improving indicators of food security, consumption systems, reducing waste, realizing high rates of self-sufficiency for many strategic food items in the local market and increasing the operational and production levels of agricultural and food systems.
During his participation remotely in the Arab-Hellenic Food Conference hosted by the Arab-Hellenic Chamber for Commerce on Oct. 5 and 6, 2021, Eng. Al-Mushaiti said that Saudi Arabia has developed its vision based on building a sustainable agricultural sector that contributes to realizing food and water security and also economic, social and environment development
This is in addition to adopting a strategy for responsible agricultural investments abroad, developing systems of agricultural and marketing services, as well as improving agricultural productivity and food quality while implementing several systems, technologies and innovations through its local, regional and international partnerships.
Eng. Al-Mushaiti said that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic contributed to increasing the number of people; who suffer from under nutrition by 132 million; where the percentage of loss of food produced equals 14 percent; of which 17 percent wastes according to statistics by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
He stressed the need to utilize digital innovation technologies and digital platforms; such as FAO’s Knowledge Platform that is concerned with chains of sustainable food value. In addition to benefiting from successful experiments; such as the Greek experience in the sustainable irrigation and agricultural technologies and food industries; and the Saudi experiment in date palms and fish farming.
Enhancing resilience, sustainability of agricultural sector
Meanwhile, Khartoum-based Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) affiliated to the Arab League; held a panel discussion on enhancing the resilience and sustainability of the agricultural sector in Arab region. This is in cooperation with Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), during the period from Oct. 5-6 2021, in Khartoum.
Such step comes as part of a series of five panel discussions that will be carried out successively in some Arab countries.
During the panel discussion, AOAD’s Director General Ibrahim Adam Ahmed El-Dukhiri, stressed that the issue of food security and enhancing the resilience and sustainability of the agricultural sector become one of the main challenges for the Arab agricultural sector; especially in light of natural, economic and social changes and pandemics, including COVID-19.