RIYADH: Digital technologies and artificial intelligence will have an increasing role in Saudi Arabia’s efforts to maintain food security, according to the Kingdom’s agriculture minister.
Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadhli, the environment, water and agriculture minister, told a preparatory workshop for next year’s G20 meeting that Arab and foreign institutions were turning to modern technologies with the aim of finding new food resources.
The workshop was attended by Fahd Al-Mubarak, secretary-general of the G20 Saudi Secretariat, and heads of global organizations working in the environment, water and agriculture sectors.
Al-Fadhli said that Saudi Arabia was working closely with Arab regional organizations and international groups to guarantee food and water security, and promote sustainable agricultural development and environmental balance.
The agriculture sector faced mounting challenges from climate change and water scarcity, as well as the rising prices of agricultural products, he said.
“We hope this workshop will be fruitful and will lead to practical proposals and recommendations that to respond to these challenges,” he said.
Al-Mubarak highlighted the importance of the G20 in ensuring the health of member populations, addressing financial crises, preserving global food security, conserving natural resources and reducing waste.
Key topics to be discussed under Saudi Arabia’s presidency at the 2020 G20 include development of natural resources to reduce degradation, desertification and climate change, water scarcity, sustainable food security, agricultural systems, the use of technology in agriculture, reduction of food waste, investments in agriculture and low agricultural productivity.
International organizations represented at the workshop included the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development , the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Islamic Organization for Food Security, Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe, World Organization for Animal Health, and the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas.