$200m organic farming plan unveiled by Saudi Arabia

The plan aims to increase organic production by 300 percent. (Shutterstock)
Updated 06 July 2018
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$200m organic farming plan unveiled by Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture unveiled its organic farming action plan, which was approved by the Cabinet, and has allocated SR750 million ($200 million) to support it.

The plan will be one of the most important means of supporting organic production, said the ministry’s undersecretary, Ahmed bin Ali Al-Eyada.

“The plan aims to increase organic production by 300 percent. Its other objectives include providing safe food, sustainable, highly profitable farming, which will be an important resource for the national economy.

“Organic farmers are a key part of this plan, so they must be supported by it through different means,” he added. 


Riyadh bird market closed after duck found with avian flu

Updated 1 min 34 sec ago
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Riyadh bird market closed after duck found with avian flu

JEDDAH: Azizia Bird Market in Riyadh has been closed after a duck was found to be carrying H5N8 avian flu during ongoing inspections of poultry markets in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced on Friday.
Ministry spokesman Dr. Abdullah Abalkhail told Arab News that action was taken immediately after the bird was found to be infected.
Ducks carry the virus, but do not display symptoms of the infection.
As well as closing the market, the authorities have prevented the movement of birds in the market, and followed directions from Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, Acting Governor of Riyadh Region, to dispose of the birds safely and efficiently.
A contingency plan for dealing with cases of bird flu was applied by the Ministry’s branch in Riyadh, in cooperation with the security authorities, Riyadh Municipality, Riyadh Health Affairs Directorate, and the Ministry of Finance.
Abalkhail stressed that the Ministry, in cooperation with the relevant government sectors, has managed to stop the disease from spreading.
To date, there have been no human cases of H5N8 in the Kingdom. The last case of avian flu was recorded in the Kingdom on April 17 this year.
Abalkhail warned bird and poultry keepers not to go to Azizia bird market until clearance work has been completed on the site in order to protect their birds from infection.
Avian flu spreads rapidly among birds. He urged the public to report any suspected cases by calling the emergency number 8002470000.