Saudi Environment Ministry celebrates Arab Agriculture Day

Smart agriculture depends on good agricultural systems that are capable of increasing productivity and enhancing quality without weakening natural resources. (SPA)
Updated 26 September 2018
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Saudi Environment Ministry celebrates Arab Agriculture Day

  • The ministry drew up the Kingdom’s policy for organic agriculture, which was approved by the Council of Ministers

JEDDAH: Ways of employing smart agriculture techniques to increase efficiency and productivity and achieve food security will be the focus of a celebration organized by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture on Arab Agriculture Day on Thursday Sept. 27.
The event in Riyadh is being held in parallel with the official celebration held at the headquarters of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development in Khartoum, Sudan.
“Smart Agriculture: A Better Future for Arab Agriculture” will be hosted by the Undersecretary of the Environment Ministry Ahmed Al-Ayedah, in the presence of the directors of all branches of the ministry in the different regions and the representatives of agriculture faculties in the universities as well as the board of directors of the cooperative societies, as well as specialists involved in smart agriculture.
The ceremony, which will be held in the main hall of the National Center for Agricultural and Livestock Research in Riyadh, will honor a number of prominent farmers in the field of smart agriculture, and encourage investors to come forward.
Al-Ayedah said that smart agriculture contributes to the provision of safe and pollution-free food, limiting the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are harmful to the health and environment. It also helps to overcome the impact of climate change.
He added that smart agriculture depends on good agricultural systems that are capable of increasing productivity and enhancing quality without weakening natural resources.
Ayedah added that the ministry has taken a lead in developing smart farming technology through establishing the organic agriculture development project and the Saudi Society for Organic Agriculture and the Organic Agriculture Research Center.
The ministry drew up the Kingdom’s policy for organic agriculture, which was approved by the Council of Ministers. This strategy has been a great resource for farmers providing advice for those wanting to switch to organic methods. It has allocated $200 million (SR750 million) for this initiative.


History of Al-Zareeb Castle in Tabuk celebrated in new study

Al-Zareeb Castle in Al-Wajih governorate in Tabuk was also used as a resting place for pilgrims traveling to Makkah. (SPA)
Updated 2 min 29 sec ago
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History of Al-Zareeb Castle in Tabuk celebrated in new study

  • The castle also includes a prayer area (musalla) and residential units surrounded by water wells
  • The city is full of historical monuments and is mentioned in the books of Arab travelers

JEDDAH: The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (DARAH) has published a history of Al-Zareeb Castle in Al-Wajh governorate in Tabuk, to mark the visit of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to the region. Located 10 km east of Al-Wajh, surrounded by mountains, the castle was built in 1617 to protect pilgrims and their goods on their way to and from their Hajj journey. It was also used as a resting place for pilgrims traveling to Makkah.
It is well supplied by groundwater and is located 7.5 km from the international coastal route linking Al-Wajh and other coastal areas, such as Yanbuh, Umlaj and Duba.
The castle was built during the era of Sultan Ahmed I of the Ottoman Empire on the route of the Egyptian Hajj, that is to say the pilgrims coming from Egypt and North Africa. It was bombed during the Great Arab Revolt in 1916 and was recently renovated. Castles such as this were built in the form of the mini-city model.
The report said the rectangular castle has a set of towers surrounding the courtyards. The castle also includes a prayer area (musalla) and residential units surrounded by water wells. It is considered one of the most important remaining archaeological sites in the Tabuk region. The castle was built in stone, with an entrance on the eastern side and two ponds for water storage. Al-Zareeb castle marks the importance of castles at that time, aiding pilgrims as they traveled to the holy lands by horse and donkey. Pilgrims needed a place with water to rest and these castles allowed them to store their luggage safely.

Renovation
In the renovation work, the same types of stone and materials were used to preserve the original appearance of the castle’s exterior.
A cemetery is located to the east of the castle on a hillside. It is believed to contain the tombs of the soldiers who fought to protect the pilgrims’ route.
Al-Wajh city lies on the eastern coast of the Red Sea and is considered an important historical port, given its major role in the stimulation of trade before and after Islam.
The city is full of historical monuments and is mentioned in the books of Arab travelers, historians and even explorers such as Sir Richard Burton.