Farm closed for using sewage water

Updated 05 February 2014

Farm closed for using sewage water

Saad Al-Muqbil, general director of the General Administration of Agricultural Affairs in the Eastern Province, has said that the administration barred one farm from selling its produce due to its use of sewage water in irrigating crops.
The farm owner was fined SR50,000 and 14 greenhouses in his famr were dismantled. This resulted in an estimated loss of SR300,000 to the owner.
Local consumers had complained of vegetables sold in one of the well-known local grocery shops tasting foul and had voiced their concern about the quality of the crops. Shoppers demanded more intensive health control and supervision of fruits and vegetables sold in the province.
Some criticized the management of environmental sanitation in the Eastern Province Municipality and the General Administration of Agriculture.
Saad Al-Khatib, one of the shoppers, said that his wife was troubled by the foul smell emanating from the vegetables as they were being cooked.
“My wife and I stopped buying fruits and vegetables from street vendors and stalls because we noticed they were selling poor quality vegetables. However, the produce we bought from the well-known grocery shop turned out to be the same; they tasted foul and had a sewage taste to them,” he said.
Al-Muqbil said that a committee was formed to monitor the irrigation of crops. The committee comprises officials from the governorate, the police, the municipality, the Agriculture and Health Affairs, the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.
The general director asserted that during one of the committee’s field trips the specialists detected that one of the farms located in the scheme of Tufayh agricultural area, was using sewage water to irrigate crops in 14 greenhouses.
“The greenhouses were dismantled, and the seeds and drip irrigation equipment as well as crops such as: tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce were all destroyed; costing the owner around SR300,000,” he added.
“Appropriate action has been taken against the farm owner, as he has been fined SR50,000 and banned from selling his produce for two years,” the official stressed.
He said that the committee has not found any other instances of the use of sewage water in farms across the province.
In an earlier statement, Al-Muqbil revealed that 5 percent of agricultural products in the region contain pesticide residues.
He commended the efforts of the Agricultural Extension Department in the ministry in reducing the use of pesticides.
“The Agricultural Extension Department was able to ensure that 95 percent of agricultural products were pesticides-free and that 90 percent of the farms in the province were applying modern irrigation methods,” he said.


King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, right, receives the closing statement of the S20 group from its chair Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares. (SPA)
Updated 29 September 2020

King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

  • The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state

On behalf of King Salman, Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday received the closing statement of the Science Group Summit (S20) from the group’s chair, Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares, who is also the president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, after a virtual meeting.
Several scientific organizations from the G20 countries took part in the meeting, which was hosted by Saudi Arabia. The S20 group focuses on future health, a circular economy and the digital revolution. The meeting stressed the importance of making decisions based on scientific facts supported by data.
The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state. More than 180 scholars participated in drafting the recommendation. They called for increasing the level of preparedness in the wake of a pandemic. They also recommended consolidating advanced treatment and precision medical research with a particular focus on keeping the costs affordable and treatments accessible to all.
The group also stressed the need to devise policies to face challenges arising from demographic shifts. One of the recommendations includes development of an integrated approach to the extraction of natural resources.
They also urged the relevant authorities to consolidate recycling systems to curb carbon emissions.