During the 43rd session of the General Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, Eng. Mansour Al-Mushaiti, emphasized the significant contribution of the agricultural sector to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2022, the sector achieved a historic milestone by contributing SR100 billion to the GDP.
Al-Mushaiti highlighted the impressive growth and development of agricultural investments in Saudi Arabia, leading to increased value in domestic agricultural products. The deputy minister noted that the country has achieved high levels of self-sufficiency in various agricultural crops, particularly those utilizing modern technologies. This accomplishment is attributed to integrated water management practices, which have successfully reduced agricultural water consumption from 86 percent to less than 70 percent.
To promote sustainable agricultural development, enhance water resource management efficiency, and preserve natural and environmental resources, Saudi Arabia has implemented several strategies, initiatives, and programs. The Agricultural Development Fund has adopted lending policies that support modern technologies, with lending exceeding 70 percent of the capital costs of agricultural projects. The lending rate in Saudi Arabia has significantly increased from SR500 million in 2015 to SR7 billion in 2022.
Al-Mushaiti also reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s ongoing support for the FAO’s efforts in achieving water and food security, as well as combating hunger and poverty at local, regional, and international levels. The FAO session, which started on July 1, is scheduled to conclude on July 7. During this session, QU Dongyu was re-elected for a second term as the Director-General of the FAO, set to run from August 1, 2023, to July 31, 2027.