Ministry effects new agricultural concept

Updated 18 February 2015

Ministry effects new agricultural concept

The Ministry of Agriculture will implement a new concept called “Integrated Farming Systems (IFS)” in Hail, Al-Hassa and Jazan regions in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
Deputy Minister for Agriculture Affairs Khaled Al-Fuhaid and the FAO program national coordinator, Abdallah Oihabi, will inaugurate the first Extension Center for Integrated Farms (ECIF) in Al-Hassa late this month.
ECIF is an extension model for implementing good agricultural practices in farming as well as contributing to technology transfer for small-scale farmers in accordance with the best agricultural concepts.
The ECIF in Al-Hassa includes a center for training, workshops and scientific symposiums and a plant clinic to provide agricultural services to the farmer in addition to the application of modern irrigation techniques, and information about good agricultural practices for crops that can have relative advantages in the region which include farms for products such as dates, lime and Hassawi grapes, open field and greenhouses vegetables.
The center also includes barns for livestock and a unit for fertilizers to benefit from agricultural wastes which contribute to improving the agricultural techniques of the farmers, as well as improving production qualitatively and quantitatively.
This will result in the profit for farmers and will contribute to conserving natural resources. Oihabi said that the application of ECIF is considered as one of the most common and effective agricultural concepts in advanced countries.
He said that the most common agriculture development assumption is that technology and agricultural formation are available but not utilized by farmers due to several reasons. If the appropriate methods of transferring these techniques and information to the farmer exist, then improved agricultural practices would be used resulting in improved incomes.
He added that the application of IFS will achieve the environmental sustainability and competitiveness ability of the national product in the market, in addition to contributing to the preservation of the natural resources, especially water.
Oihabi said that the objective behind this idea is to encourage the farm owners to exploit and benefit from all agricultural fields including plant and animal production in addition to the production of organic fertilizers which can be used in the next agricultural agricultural seasons, in order to make considerable returns.

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.