1.9 million Sufri palm trees in Bisha enhance economic resources

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The Saudi General Directorate of Agriculture has started to rehabilitate the agricultural sector with expert farmers. (SPA)
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The Saudi General Directorate of Agriculture has started to rehabilitate the agricultural sector with expert farmers. (SPA)
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The Saudi General Directorate of Agriculture has started to rehabilitate the agricultural sector with expert farmers. (SPA)
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The Saudi General Directorate of Agriculture has started to rehabilitate the agricultural sector with expert farmers. (SPA)
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The Saudi General Directorate of Agriculture has started to rehabilitate the agricultural sector with expert farmers. (SPA)
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The Saudi General Directorate of Agriculture has started to rehabilitate the agricultural sector with expert farmers. (SPA)
Updated 21 July 2018

1.9 million Sufri palm trees in Bisha enhance economic resources

JEDDAH: Bisha province is a rich oasis in the southwest of Saudi Arabia that has always been known for its fertile land. It joins between the valleys coming from the high mountains, called Palm Bisha, Green Bisha and Black Bisha, where another 45 sub-valleys also meet.
With the recent agricultural reawakening in Saudi Arabia, the General Directorate of Agriculture has started to rehabilitate the agricultural sector with expert farmers. It is protecting the date palm from various diseases, namely the red palm weevil and others.
The director of the Ministry of Environment in the province of Bisha, Salem Al-Qarni, said palm trees in the province are free of all pesticides and are fully organic, stressing that cooperation with the farmers and addressing all pests was one of the most important factors for the safety and productivity of the palms. He noted that Bisha is famous for the diversity of its trees spreading along the edges of its valleys.
Bisha relies on the rainwater falling on the western and southern mountains, as well as on the city’s highlands. Because of the importance of different sources of water, the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Water worked on creating four dams to ensure the permanent existence of water to guarantee the stability of the agricultural sector.
Bisha provides the local markets with many products such as dates, citrus products and honey. However, it lacks proper marketing for external exportation, which contributes to the significant decline of the products’ value.
Within the framework of the Economic Forum for Dates in Bisha, the province worked with the partnership of Bisha University, the National Center for Palm and Dates, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on promoting date production to ensure a proper market value that supports the farmer and enhances the resources.
The Sufri product is known to be the best produced locally and is in high demand from many companies. The statistics center at the Sufri Bisha festival recorded that more than 1.9 million palm trees are highly productive in Bisha, producing around 40 percent of exported dates from the KSA to the world.


Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 59 min 6 sec ago

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”

 

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