Saudi agriculture takes to the cloud as sector aims for the sky

Saudi agriculture takes to the cloud as sector aims for the sky

Saudi agriculture takes to the cloud as sector aims for the sky
A Saudi farmer plucks rice plantation in a rice field in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters/File)
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Recently, the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture called for investments in four agricultural projects to enhance the Kingdom’s food security. This outcome came soon after the Saudi Agricultural Development Fund, also known as ADF, approved several loans with an accumulated worth of over SR861 million ($229.33 million) to finance working capital to ensure the abundance of agricultural products and stability in supply.

Historically, agriculture has been front and center of social and economic life in Saudi Arabia, especially over the last three decades, which saw phenomenal developments toward improving farming activity.

Today, common challenges such as the ever-changing climate patterns and the necessity for more food to serve a growing population demand a more prepared approach that can help ensure the sustained growth of the country’s agriculture sector.

This area is where the power of cloud technology comes in, and the Kingdom’s ADF is leading by example. It is the Saudi government’s principal credit institution specializing in financing agricultural activities in the Kingdom.

The fund also works to develop the country’s agricultural sector through scientific and technological development initiatives.

Utilizing real-time agricultural data to improve support for farmers and innovate new services, ADF implemented an integrated suite of Oracle Fusion Cloud applications.

The implementation is also helping ADF drive data integration across the organization, reduce operational costs, and develop a secure, scalable IT infrastructure to help support the fund’s rapid expansion and extend more support to the Kingdom’s farmers.

Power of the cloud

Analyst firm IDC suggests that ICT spending in the Kingdom will reach $32.9 billion in 2022, and investments in the public cloud will cross the $950 million mark and grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 24 percent by 2025.

This pace shows the rapid growth of cloud adoption in the Kingdom as organizations identify a more cost-efficient, secure, agile and flexible business model with the cloud.

ADF’s transition from an on-premises environment to Oracle Fusion Cloud applications unlocks access to agricultural data from across the country in real-time, allowing ADF to focus its efforts and resources where needed. It also enables ADF to implement enhanced quality control processes and ensure robust data security across their operations.

Creating a sustainable future for agriculture

ADF is on a mission to enhance the country’s food security while maintaining natural resources and developing rural areas by providing loans to farmers across the Kingdom.

By leveraging predictive analytics, farmers can gather and analyze large amounts of data and do it faster with artificial intelligence than they would otherwise.

AI can solve some of the commonly faced challenges by farmers, such as analyzing market demand, forecasting prices and determining the optimal time for sowing and harvesting.

Advancements in emerging technologies embedded in the cloud like AI and machine learning are central to improving food production supply chains in more cost-effective, sustainable ways. They are unfolding scientists’ belief that technology in agriculture will play a pivotal role in increasing food production globally.

• Leopoldo Boado Lama is Senior Vice President — Business Applications, ECEMEA Oracle.

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