Labor shortage hits farm harvest

Updated 14 November 2013
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Labor shortage hits farm harvest

Rain signals the start of the harvest season in Hail, Jouf, Baha and other areas of the Kingdom, but the farming sector is facing an acute shortage of farm laborers in the aftermath of the crackdown on visa violators.
The harvest season is time-bound and the scarcity of farm hands is delaying the process.
Additionally, imports of fresh produce from neighboring countries have fallen, resulting in a rise in prices.
Expatriates have dominated the farming sector in the Kingdom for years but because of the recent clampdown on illegal workers, it is becoming difficult to procure enough laborers to work on the farms.
Farming is a demanding occupation and is mainly done by the foreign labor force, which lives on the farms itself. Controlling the irrigation system, spraying pesticide and keeping a vigil on birds are only a few of the challenges of the farming sector.
Most expatriate workers who arrived in rural areas to work on farms escaped from their sponsors and moved to the large cities of the Kingdom such as Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam to work in the more lucrative construction sector.
Farm-related sectors have also been adversely affected by the scarcity of manpower.
Many workshops for tractor repairs, water pumps and shops selling landscaping equipment and water supply pipes have closed down.
Mohammad Sabiruddin, an Indian expatriate in Hail who has been manning a mechanical workshop dealing in farming equipment for the past 32 years, told Arab News that the harvest season is dull because most workshops are closed and the workers are staying away from work.
Mohammed Javed, a Pakistani expatriate who works on a vegetable farm in Tabuk said: “There is a shortage of labor so we can’t do a lot of farming activity even though this is the peak harvest time.”


Saudi Arabia's KSRelief distributes assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon

KSRelief distributed assistance to Syrian refugees. (SPA/file)
Updated 21 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia's KSRelief distributes assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon

  • KSRelief seeks to ensure that the living conditions of Syrian refugees are in accordance with international specifications
  • The center also distributed 3,500 cartons of dates in the villages of Izzala Al-Jumah in Yemen

JEDDAH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed humanitarian aid including birth kits, personal bags and baby blankets to Syrian female refugees staying in Osman Hospital and Central Hospital in Kattermaya, Kharoub province of Lebanon on Friday.

This distribution is within the framework of the assistance provided by the center for displaced Syrians and refugees in neighboring countries. 

KSRelief seeks to ensure that the living conditions of Syrian refugees are in accordance with international specifications through various relief programs. 

Earlier, winter blankets, jackets, jumpers, hats and other items were distributed to meet the basic needs of refugee families.

The center also distributed 3,500 cartons of dates in the villages of Izzala Al-Jumah in Al-Mukha directorate in Taiz governorate, benefiting 21,000 people.

In addition, 36 trucks with 469,483 kg of relief, shelter and medicines crossed Al-Wadiaa border on Thursday evening as part of the KSRelief plan to help Yemenis.

Of this total, 26 trucks with 500 food baskets, weighing 375 tons, in addition to 43,173 kg of shelter items, will be heading to Maareb province, and ten trucks carrying 42,221 kg of shelter items and 9.89 tons of medications will go to Aden.

On Thursday, the Bahraini Royal Charity Foundation and the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation for Humanitarian Affairs signed an MoU for the establishment of the Bahrain Health Center in Aden, Yemen, at a cost of $2 million, in the presence of Ahmed bin Ali Al-Bayez, assistant general supervisor of operations and programs at KSRelief, and a number of officials. SPA, Jeddah