Saudi Arabia’s agricultural production enjoying significant development

Marketing campaigns for agricultural products have been launched to ensure continuity, support the economy and find practical and viable solutions that support the sale of products of small farms. (Shutterstock/SPA)
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Marketing campaigns for agricultural products have been launched to ensure continuity, support the economy and find practical and viable solutions that support the sale of products of small farms. (Shutterstock/SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s agricultural production enjoying significant development
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Marketing campaigns for agricultural products have been launched to ensure continuity, support the economy and find practical and viable solutions that support the sale of products of small farms. (Shutterstock/SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s agricultural production enjoying significant development
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Marketing campaigns for agricultural products have been launched to ensure continuity, support the economy and find practical and viable solutions that support the sale of products of small farms. (Shutterstock/SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s agricultural production enjoying significant development
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Marketing campaigns for agricultural products have been launched to ensure continuity, support the economy and find practical and viable solutions that support the sale of products of small farms. (Shutterstock/SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s agricultural production enjoying significant development
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Marketing campaigns for agricultural products have been launched to ensure continuity, support the economy and find practical and viable solutions that support the sale of products of small farms. (Shutterstock/SPA)
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Updated 24 August 2021

Saudi Arabia’s agricultural production enjoying significant development

Marketing campaigns for agricultural products have been launched to ensure continuity, support the economy and find practical and viable solutions that support the sale of products of small farms. (Shutterstock/SPA)
  • Saudi Arabia’s ability to preserve food security contributed to more produce, especially fruits and vegetables, says official

TAIF: Saudi agricultural production has significantly developed in both quantity and quality, with some crops reaching high levels of self-sufficiency, an official at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has claimed.

The director general of the General Department of Agricultural Associations and Marketing at the ministry, Suleiman Saleh Al-Jutaili, told Arab News that the Kingdom’s ability to preserve food security and the agricultural supply chain, and cooperation between governmental authorities, contributed to more produce, especially fruits and vegetables.
“The marketing element is considered the biggest challenge in the agricultural sector internationally and in the Kingdom,” he said, adding: “Several meetings have been held, agreements signed and studies conducted, leading to the launch of a number of (smartphone) applications and linking them to marketing services’ centers and farmers directly.”

HIGHLIGHT

Steps taken will offer ‘seasonal agricultural products such as mangoes, bananas and papayas from Jazan, grapes from Qassim, in addition to figs, pomegranates and citrus fruits in season across the Kingdom.’

These applications are popular with citizens, especially amid the pandemic, where online purchasing has shot up.
He said that agricultural festivals opened new marketing windows of direct sales, more partnership with the private sector, a reduction in losses, and instilling the concept of marketing services centers.


Small farmers and direct sales have been supported, Al-Jutaili said, and an agreement with LuLu Hypermarket was signed in addition to other major markets.
“Such a step will offer seasonal agricultural products such as mangoes, bananas and papayas from Jazan, grapes from Qassim, in addition to figs, pomegranates and citrus fruits in season across the Kingdom,” he added.
Marketing campaigns for agricultural products have been launched to ensure continuity, support the economy and find practical and viable solutions that support the sale of products of small farms, to improve farmers’ income and lifestyle.
One such campaign is “It is the season,” which was recently launched during a meeting held with all the central markets in the Kingdom. The campaign aims to support local produce and ensure the increase of agricultural production and farmers’ revenues.
“The Saudi Agricultural Development Fund has been supported to establish marketing service centers that receive, sort and package products from farmers,” he said.
Many Saudis have been supportive of these initiatives, buying their seasonal vegetables and fruits directly from local farms, for their high nutritional values and the economic feasibility.
Nutritionist Dr. Viviane Mohammed Wehbe told Arab News that seasonal vegetables and fruits have several benefits that encourage consumers to eat and buy them from farms instead of supermarkets or grocery stores.
“Fruits and vegetables are most nutritious when harvested at their peak maturity and eaten in season, because they provide the body with vitamins, minerals and basic nutrients and help reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer,” she said.
She added: “Buying fruits directly from farms has also an economic advantage. When eaten in season and from their direct sources, fruits cost less and consumers are reassured as they eat fresh products, with no added chemicals to keep them in stores for long periods.”
Wehbe said that the methods of storing and transporting fruits and vegetables and the preservatives added to them push consumers to buy the products directly from the farms.
Mashbab Al-Thaqfi, owner of a farm in the south of Taif, said that the expansion of agriculture is a positive thing whenever the opportunity arises in a rainy season.
“Most agricultural areas depend primarily on rain. If rainwater is not sufficient, some farmers resort to bringing in well water from other areas to make up for the deficit and save their summer fruit season,” he told Arab News.
Al-Thaqfi said most farmers often renew their farms by getting a variety of fertilizers to ensure a good soil for the organic production of fresh vegetables and fruits that visitors crave after an overdose of frozen and dried fruits.
Most of those farms are directly supervised by their owners, he said, with workers trained in agriculture, watering, harvesting and selling on touristic highways, which many visitors consider reliable and credible because the produce comes from farms in nearby areas.
“Visitors thus purchase big quantities of vegetables without having to worry about the sources of water used to water them, having seen similar cases of farms run by violating workers that use wastewater,” Al-Thaqfi added.
Fresh vegetables are produced by farms year-round and sold at reasonable prices. These farms rely on seasonal fruits such as barbary figs, prunes, pomegranates, quince, almonds and plums.
The fruits are harvested at different periods and are often sought by summer vacationers from all around the Kingdom, giving the produce great economic value.


Who’s Who: Turki Al-Thonayan, CEO of the National Security Services Co.

Turki Al-Thonayan
Turki Al-Thonayan
Updated 23 May 2022

Who’s Who: Turki Al-Thonayan, CEO of the National Security Services Co.

Turki Al-Thonayan

Turki Matooq Al-Thonayan was appointed CEO of the National Security Services Co., or SAFE, which is owned by the Public Investment Fund.

Al-Thonayan has more than 25 years of extensive security experience, starting in 1996 with Saudi Aramco, where he eventually became manager of its northern area industrial security operations in 2018.

He later worked at BATIC, overseeing investment and logistics, held the position of CEO at AMNCO, and was appointed to the board of directors of AMNCO Facilities Management.

Prior to AMNCO, Al-Thonayan also served as a part-time board member of Smart Cities Solutions Co.

Al-Thonayan began his extensive career as a part-time lecturer at the Arab Open University. He then ventured to Saudi Aramco where he climbed the executive ladder, starting as a system analyst for the computer security administration.

He then dedicated over 16 years to the company to reach the position of offshore security operations superintendent.

Al-Thonayan’s security experience is diversified across corporate security services, computer security administration, residential area security operations, industrial and maritime infrastructure facilities protection, and security support system and identification systems.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in information and computer science, and later a master’s in the same field, both from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. He has been certified as a port security officer, information systems risk analyst, ethical hacker, fraud examiner, hacking forensic investigator and an SAP consultant, in addition to his membership of many international organizations related to security.

With SAFE, Al-Thonayan is working to uplift the security services industry, maximize integration among security elements, support national security initiatives, offer best-in-class security solutions and combine world-class technology with the expertise of well-trained and distinguished security personnel.


Saudi minister receives Swedish special envoy to OIC

Saudi minister receives Swedish special envoy to the OIC. (Supplied)
Saudi minister receives Swedish special envoy to the OIC. (Supplied)
Updated 57 min 21 sec ago

Saudi minister receives Swedish special envoy to OIC

Saudi minister receives Swedish special envoy to the OIC. (Supplied)
  • The meeting was attended by the counterterrorism coordinator at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Erika Ferrer, the Swedish Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Niclas Trouvé and an accompanying delegation

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh received in Riyadh Ambassador Ulrika Sandberg, special envoy of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Organization of the Islamic Conference for interreligious and intercultural dialogue.

The meeting was attended by the counter-terrorism coordinator at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Erika Ferrer, the Swedish Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Niclas Trouvé and an accompanying delegation.

Al-Asheikh said the Kingdom endeavors to spread the principles of moderation, rejecting extremism and respect for all human beings, as stipulated in the Holy Quran and the way of the Prophet.  

Sandberg called for further cooperation in the fight against terrorism and spreading tolerance and dialogue among followers of religions.


Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022

Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022
Updated 23 May 2022

Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022

Education minister heads Saudi delegation to EWF 2022
  • Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh reviewed the Kingdom’s successful experience with e-learning and distance education during the pandemic
  • Al-Sheikh met with several education ministers and officials, including UK Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is participating in the Education World Forum 2022 in London, UK, under the theme “Education: Building forward together; stronger, bolder, better.”

EWF 2022 brings together education ministers and professionals to address key issues and share challenges, solutions, learning, and success stories they have experienced during the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh is heading a delegation representing Saudi Arabia at the four-day forum, which kicked off May 22.

On the forum’s first day, Al-Sheikh delivered Saudi Arabia’s speech during the first session. He focused on how the Kingdom learned from the recent challenges, highlighting the Saudi experience in dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19. He also reviewed the Kingdom’s successful experience with e-learning and distance education during the pandemic.

Al-Sheikh met with several education ministers and officials, including UK Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi, the Special Representative of the Prime Minister for Education Dr. Sir Steve Smith, and the secretary of state at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and head of the British side of the Saudi-British Partnership Council, Kwasi Kwarteng.

He also met with the CEO of the British Council, the CEO of Microsoft International, and the Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, as well as executive leaders of various educational publishing houses and institutions.

Al-Sheikh also visited a number of prestigious UK universities and educational institutions, including University College London, Oxford University, the Center for Artificial Intelligence, and the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine Medical Center, as well as the Saudi Cultural Bureau in London, where he met with Saudi students studying at UK universities.

According to the organizers of the forum, EWF 2022 will assist in planning and developing education to support individual and collective resilience, and foster economic progress.

It will discuss major educational issues, such as ways to improve equity and assign resources more effectively, how education-providing institutions responded to the recent challenges, ways to accelerate collaborative innovation, building better citizens and societies, and improving education.


Assistant speaker of Shoura Council meets Saudi deputy minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy

Assistant speaker of Shoura Council meets Saudi deputy minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy
Updated 23 May 2022

Assistant speaker of Shoura Council meets Saudi deputy minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy

Assistant speaker of Shoura Council meets Saudi deputy minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy
  • The meeting was concluded by stressing the importance of continuous cooperation between the Shoura Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen the aims of parliamentary diplomacy

RIYADH: Saudi Assistant Speaker of the Shoura Council Dr. Hanan bint Abdulrahim Al-Ahmadi, met Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Public Diplomacy Fahd bin Asaad Abulnasr at the council’s headquarters in Riyadh today.

During the meeting, they discussed the prospects of cooperation between the Shoura Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support the parliamentarian diplomacy of the Shoura Council, which is considered as an important and supportive dimension of public diplomacy to develop relations between the Kingdom and the brotherly countries.

The meeting also reviewed the role of the parliamentary friendship committees in the Shoura Council and their efforts to boost communication with the equivalent committees in the parliaments and legislative councils of the brotherly countries and their role in bringing various views closer and highlighting the Kingdom’s positions towards the various international issues and events.

The meeting pointed out the active role of the Shoura Council in the meetings of the regional and international parliamentary organizations and unions of which it is a member, and through which it is keen to highlight the point of view of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on various issues.

The meeting was concluded by stressing the importance of continuous cooperation between the Shoura Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen the aims of parliamentary diplomacy and support both parties’ efforts in support of the Kingdom’s foreign policy.


Saudis are natural-born storytellers, says Saudi Film Commission CEO

Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf held several discussions with international industry professionals. (Supplied)
Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf held several discussions with international industry professionals. (Supplied)
Updated 22 May 2022

Saudis are natural-born storytellers, says Saudi Film Commission CEO

Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf held several discussions with international industry professionals. (Supplied)
  • Abdullah Al-Eyaf discusses the importance of Saudi talent during the 75th Cannes Film Festival

CANNES: Abdullah Al-Eyaf, the CEO of the Saudi Film Commission, aims to drive the Saudi film industry by fostering an environment for young Saudi filmmakers to develop their passions and talents.

During a panel discussion hosted on Sunday in the March du Film pavilion in Cannes, Al-Eyaf expressed his vision for Saudi youth filmmakers and the important role they play in the industry.

“We in the commission strongly believe in the filmmakers in Saudi, actually they are the reason behind all that we do,” Al-Eyaf said.

The Kingdom’s film industry is bursting with talent and passion from Saudi filmmakers, writers, and artisans. What is needed now is the strong support from an entity to facilitate that growth. This is where the Saudi Film Commission plans to come into play.

The Saudi Film Commission, under the Ministry of Culture, has conducted numerous outreach and education programs to help Saudi filmmakers in the industry through masterclasses, workshops and training.

According to the CEO, Saudis play a pivotal role in the industry’s growth on a global and local level.

“These young filmmakers started before the commission was established and they will continue with or without the film commission that’s why we think the industry will not be built in Saudi without these filmmakers,” Al-Eyaf said.

HIGHLIGHT

With many blockbusters films showing an interest in shooting in the Kingdom, doors are opening for Saudi production teams, special effects artists, actors and many more talents to contribute to the industry.

Therefore the commission is striving to establish a wider creative opportunity for Saudi talent through partnerships and representation in global film festivals such as the Cannes festival.

Through the organizations and initiatives of the Saudi Film Commission, the Saudi presence during the Cannes Film Festival has only grown stronger since the 74th Cannes film festival held in 2021.

It is known that Saudi Arabia has a wealth of locations through its 13 diverse provinces. During the initial days of the festival, this is what attracted many producers and filmmakers to the Saudi pavilion to learn more.

With many blockbusters films showing an interest in shooting in the Kingdom, doors are opening for Saudi production teams, special effects artists, actors and many more talents to contribute to the industry.

Al-Eyaf said that Saudis are natural-born storytellers; what is needed now is to support and empower them throughout the film sector.

“We really appreciate what they are doing and our only role is to support them and to have Saudi Arabia as a friendly environment for filmmakers to create their films and tell their stories to the world and to Saudi,” Al-Eyaf said.

The Saudi Film Commission aims to expand and strengthen the Saudi film industry on a local and global level through partnerships, investment and educational empowerment.

During the 75th Cannes Film Festival, the Saudi pavilion welcomed some of the biggest global names in the film industry — producers, directors and actors — to partner on Saudi film projects.

The commission’s role isn’t only to support Saudi talents but it’s also to foster a community where directors explore collaborative initiatives from filming in Saudi to creating films with some of the many Saudi talents in the sector.

In January the commission launched the third phase of the “Film Makers” program that took students through sets of comprehensive training workshops that were spread throughout the Kingdom.

“We have already contacted hundreds (of Saudi filmmakers) via either training programs, grants or the fund that we launched a couple of years ago,” the CEO said.

The commission has developed an incentive package for local and international filmmakers to establish the Kingdom as a global hub for film, creative production and industry talent.