National agricultural strategy delayed by water studies report

Updated 19 January 2013
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National agricultural strategy delayed by water studies report

The country’s national agricultural strategy will be approved once a water studies report has been completed, according to Samir Qabbani, a member of the agricultural committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry and an agricultural consultant.
The strategy was submitted to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his approval. It is currently being studied by the Supreme Economic Council, according to a report published in a local newspaper on Friday.
Meanwhile, Qabbani said that while fears exist of a hike in food prices in 2013, there was a fall of an average 7 percent in global food prices last year.
Prices fell over the last three months of 2012 especially for sugar, dairy products, oil and grain. He said 2012 prices in general were lower than those of 2011. “This [decrease in 2012 prices] happened despite the fact that there were fears at times last year that an acute global food crisis would occur given rising prices during some periods, but then prices stabilized and started falling,” he said. 
He said that factors affecting prices last year was the global recession, especially in Europe, the stumbling of large economies and the rising unemployment rate. This prevented the expected spike in prices, said Qabbani. However, there are expectations that prices will rise this year by 12 percent in the second half of the year, especially for sugar, grain, meat and dairy products. This would be related to drought and global population growth.  
Prices will rise because food production will not meet the demands of the growing global population, he said. Global production has to increase by more than 50 percent to feed the global population, he added.
According to several specialist studies and recommendations — particularly a recommendation from the Riyadh Economic Forum that was submitted to the government — the issue of a strategic storage of basic commodities should be developed. An independent entity must be created to manage that storage, said Qabbani.
Other ways to improve the economy in line with population growth, he added, include developing methods to market vegetables and fruits, with an entity created for this purpose. There should also be plans to make sure the country’s poultry industry becomes self-sufficient; and to develop the dates sector.  Qabbani said wheat remains a major strategic crop. This sector has been supervised by the Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization, so the supply of wheat and prices of bread had not been affected.
Another way to ensure a strategic food supply is the implementation of the King Abdullah initiative for agricultural and food investment abroad. The Ministry of Agriculture is now responsible for this with a government company to manage investments abroad in cooperation with the private sector.
      


KSA, Mauritania sign MoU to promote moderate values in society

Saudi Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdulatif Al-Asheikh and his Mauritanian counterpart Ahmed Ould Ahl Dawood at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs headquarters in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 10 December 2018
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KSA, Mauritania sign MoU to promote moderate values in society

  • The Mauritanian minister hailed the strong bonds and historical relations between the two countries and their cooperation in many fields

JEDDAH: The Saudi Islamic Affairs Ministry on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mauritania’s Islamic Affairs Ministry to increase cooperation in different fields and to promote the concepts of moderation in Islam.
The MoU was signed between Saudi Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdulatif Al-Asheikh and his Mauritanian counterpart Ahmed Ould Ahl Dawood at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs headquarters in Riyadh.
The MoU included nine main articles. It envisages cooperation in introducing Islam and its position on contemporary issues, serving the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, and cooperation in mosque affairs, their construction and maintenance.
In addition to that, the two sides will work under this MoU to adopt and propose programs to explain and promote concepts of moderation in Islam and assist the progress and advancement of Muslim nation in various fields.
The two sides will also share information, coordinate their efforts during international events, and cooperate in preparing studies and conducting research related to protecting, reviving and spreading Islamic heritage.
The MoU also stated that the two sides shall encourage the exchange of visits at various levels, participate in Islamic seminars and conferences held in both countries, and form a joint committee for the implementation of the MoU’s content.
The MoU concluded that the Hijri date is to be used in all correspondence between the two sides. The MoU shall enter into force on the date of its signature between the two sides and it shall be implemented within five years and will be automatically renewed for the similar duration unless one side informs the other that they wish to amend or terminate it.
Al-Asheikh said: “This memorandum of understanding comes under the guidance of King Salman and Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in the framework of the distinguished historical relations between the two countries, especially in serving Islam and Muslims.”
He referred to what has been achieved through Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent visit to Mauritania, which was the first visit of a senior Saudi official to Mauritania in four decades to strengthen relations between the two countries to unprecedented levels.
Al-Asheikh pointed out that the MoU will promote joint cooperation in various fields.
The Mauritanian minister hailed the strong bonds and historical relations between the two countries and their cooperation in many fields.
He also praised the articles of the MoU, which he described as important and historical.