Harnessing agricultural terraces for blackberry cultivation in Al-Baha

The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)
The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)
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Updated 21 June 2024
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Harnessing agricultural terraces for blackberry cultivation in Al-Baha

The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)
  • The ministry aims to increase the number of blackberry trees in Al-Baha to 3 million within the next three years, supported by various programs and collaboration with farmers and agricultural associations

AL-BAHA: Al-Baha is proving to be an ideal region for the cultivation of blackberries.

Utilizing advanced plant tissue culture techniques, this initiative has shown great potential, benefiting both farmers and beekeepers due to the plant’s rapid growth, high yield, and superior quality blossoms.

The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. According to the Saudi Press Agency, this endeavor promises significant economic and investment returns for the region, leveraging its natural agricultural assets, fertile soil, and ample groundwater.




The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)

Fahd Al-Zahrani, director of the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture in the region, highlighted the crop’s potential. He stated that over 30,000 blackberry seedlings have been planted in open fields, achieving nearly 100 percent success. The seedlings began producing high-quality fruit in the spring of 2024, underscoring the experiment’s success.

The ministry aims to increase the number of blackberry trees in Al-Baha to 3 million within the next three years, supported by various programs and collaboration with farmers and agricultural associations. Numerous field workshops have been conducted to train farmers in propagation techniques, facilitating the expansion of blackberry cultivation.




The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)

Hassan Saeed Al-Shantir, owner of Al-Shantir Farm, emphasized the region’s favorable agricultural conditions, including fertile soil and groundwater. He started preparing the agricultural terraces and planting blackberries at the end of 2022, supported by the regional branch of the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, and the Agricultural Arabian Shield initiative, planting around 100 blackberry seedlings.

Al-Shantir reported that his farm now boasts over 750 seedlings, with notable production increases. The farm has opened sales points in Al-Baha and begun exporting to Jeddah, with plans to expand to other major cities. He noted the rapid growth, abundant blossoms, high-quality fruit, and economic benefits of blackberries, which also resist various climatic conditions.

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The ministry aims to increase the number of blackberry trees in Al-Baha to 3 million within the next three years, supported by various programs and collaboration with farmers and agricultural associations.

He plans to utilize the attractive, sweet blackberries, rich in nutrients and antioxidants, in various products such as desserts and food decorations, capitalizing on their low-calorie content.

He also benefited from workshops organized by the ministry, which focused on crop composition plans, propagation techniques using tissue culture, suitable irrigation methods for blackberry cultivation, and seedling production through tissue culture.

Dr. Fatima Al-Omari, an advisor at the agriculture under-secretariat, explained that blackberry is a perennial plant or small shrub with curved, thorny branches. It blooms from late spring to early summer, with typically white flowers and black fruit. This fruit offers high health and nutritional benefits due to its vitamins, minerals, and fiber, with relatively low sugar content.

She added that the current condition of the farms is good, with high-quality blooms and fruit observed in several farms within a year of planting the seedlings. These farms are regularly monitored by a committee headed by Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Aref, the initiative supervisor and advisor at the Agriculture Agency, in cooperation with the Agricultural Cooperative Society in Baljurashi and the Ministry’s regional branch.

Al-Baha region, known for its unique agricultural identity, boasts distinct terraces that align with the mountainous terrain, slopes, and elevations retaining soil and rainwater. The region also offers a variety of fruits year-round.

 


Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation

Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation

Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation
  • The pact was inked by Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Albania Faisal bin Ghazi Hefzi and representatives of the Presidency of the Islamic Union of North Macedonia

RIYADH: The Kingdom and North Macedonia have signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation on Islamic affairs, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The pact was inked by Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Albania Faisal bin Ghazi Hefzi and representatives of the Presidency of the Islamic Union of North Macedonia.

Hefzi also serves as non-resident ambassador to North Macedonia, and was representing the Kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

In a press statement after the signing ceremony, Hefzi said the Kingdom supports all efforts to ensure peace and prosperity for Muslims worldwide.

The signing ceremony took place on Sunday in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, and was attended by various government representatives.


KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan

KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan
Updated 22 July 2024
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KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan

KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan
  • Both efforts reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment, through KSrelief, to support vulnerable people worldwide

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian agency KSrelief has delivered food and other aid to thousands of vulnerable people in Syria and Sudan.

In operations carried out on Friday in the Idlib region of Syria, KSrelief distributed 1,078 food baskets and hygiene kits for 6,468 individuals, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

This was a part of the second phase of a project aimed at supporting people affected by the 2024 earthquake in northern Syria.

Also on Friday, in the northern state of Sudan, KSrelief provided 600 shelter bags for 3,450 individuals as a part of an ongoing aid project.

Both efforts reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment, through KSrelief, to support vulnerable people worldwide, the SPA reported.


KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut
Updated 22 July 2024
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KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief carried out 40 orthopedic surgeries in Yemen’s Hadhramaut governorate from July 13 to 20.

The operations, overseen by seven specialists, were a part of a volunteer medical project in the Seiyun district, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The KSrelief team examined 69 patients over the period of the project.

In addition, they conducted a workshop on orthopedic surgery and knee injuries for 15 doctors.

The KSrelief team examined 69 patients over the period of the project. (SPA)

Meanwhile, KSrelief’s Supervisor-General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah met with the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Julien Harneis in Riyadh on Sunday.

During the meeting, they discussed ways to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.

Harneis commended Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian and relief efforts in the war-torn nation.


Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

RIYADH: Members of Saudi Arabia’s Masam Project removed 989 explosive devices from various regions of Yemen in the third week of July.

This included five anti-personnel mines, 46 anti-tank mines, 935 unexploded ordnances, and three explosive devices, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The Masam Project has now cleared 2,840 mines since the beginning of July in Yemen. In total, it has removed 451,908 explosive devices since it began operations in the country.

The SPA reported that these devices had been planted indiscriminately across the country to harm people, including children, women and the elderly.


Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad

Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad

Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad
  • Kingdom has now won 77 awards in total at the annual mathematics competition

RIYADH: The Kingdom won six medals at the 65th International Mathematical Olympiad 2024 held from July 15 to 21 at the University of Bath in the UK, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The annual competition had teams of up to six contestants attempting to solve three complex problems in two exams of 4.5 hours each, over two consecutive days.

Hadi Al-Aithan from the Al-Ahsa education department won a silver medal. Bronze medals were won by Youssef Bakheet (Yanbu), Mohammed Rabie (Madinah), Muath Al-Qahtani (Eastern Province) and Ahmed Al-Shehri (Riyadh).

Mohammad Al-Ghamdi from the Eastern Province received a certificate of appreciation.

The Saudi Arabia team participated under the auspices of the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, or Mawhiba, and the Ministry of Education.

Saudi Arabia’s participation is a part of the Mawhiba International Olympiad program, one of 20 initiatives offered annually based on advanced curricula and other development programs.

These initiatives offer gifted students an opportunity to develop their skills in collaboration with local and international partners, the SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia has now won 77 awards at the annual competition including 12 silver and 46 bronze medals, and 19 certificates of appreciation.