RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s agriculture sector is on track to achieve a 95 percent reduction in liquid fuel consumption by 2030 as part of its strategy to promote local farming using sustainable practices.
The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture recently reviewed the Liquid Fuel Displacement Program and the use of the electric grid to replace liquid fuels used in agriculture to power machinery and equipment such as tractors, harvesters and irrigation pumps.
The LFDP aims to displace more than 1 million barrels of liquid fuels per day across utilities, industry and agriculture by 2030, involving more than 10 government and 20 private companies.
While speaking at a workshop organized by the ministry for the sector, Mohammed Al-Abdullatif, the head of the agricultural team of the program, said that the displacement program would work on replacing the existing energy sources in agriculture with electricity by connecting to the power grid.
“The program will also enhance operational capacity and reduce any external factors affecting the sustainability of the Kingdom’s environmental sectors,” explained Al-Abdullatif.
He added that the program bears the costs of delivering electrical service until the farm gate, besides providing soft loans to meet the necessary modifications to achieve sustainability in the agricultural sector and improve the total yield of the Kingdom.
To execute the program, farmers must provide data on the required electric load for the farm, then estimate the necessary time needed to switch to electricity.
The rollout will first focus on major agricultural companies in the Kingdom, followed by large farmers, after which the ministry will target the smaller farms.
In April, the ministry announced that Saudi Arabia had reached 60 percent self-sufficiency in mango production.
The ministry earlier this month disclosed that the Kingdom had achieved 95 percent self-sufficiency in papaya production.
The ministry is keen on further strengthening the agriculture sector by increasing the production of various vegetables and fruits.
It is working toward raising the efficiency of locally produced fruits, especially in their production season, boosting their quality and elevating their safety standards.