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FAO and Saudi Arabia renew fruitful cooperation

New $93 million contribution from Saudi Arabia is a boost for sustainable rural development efforts

13 February 2019, Rome - FAO and Saudi Arabia today agreed to renew their long-standing technical cooperation and to redouble joint efforts to implement the country’s Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Programme (2019-2025).

A new $93 million agreement signed by FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, aims at boosting production, processing and marketing of Arabic coffee, bee keeping, fruit, fish, livestock, and cultivation of rain-fed crops in the country.

This new contribution by Saudi Arabia puts the country among FAO’s top resource partners, and number one in the Near East.

“We hope the (Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development) Programme boosts food security in the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) and creates employment for young men and women. We also hope it will increase the income of families and households and lead to an increase in GDP. We have high hopes in this programme and we chose FAO as a privileged partner to oversee and follow up on the implementation in light of their rich experience in the field. We rely on FAO and we are optimistic about its success,” Minister Al-Fadley said.

“I strongly thank Saudi Arabia for its renewed trust in FAO,” Graziano da Silva said at the signature today, praising the country’s support for the UN agency. “FAO will continue to provide technical support to the national priorities in the context of the Agenda 2030,” he added.

Both principals also signed a broader Memorandum of Understanding establishing a cooperation framework for 2019-2025.

FAO’s cooperation with Saudi Arabia

FAO has closely collaborated with Saudi Arabia for over 70 years. The organization has provided technical and advisory support to the country at strategic, institutional and technical levels.
In 2017-2018, support included assistance for the implementation of the Ministry’s strategic initiatives developed within the context of the National Transformation Plan (NTP) 2020 and the Saudi Vision 2030.

Areas of cooperation include strengthening sustainable food security, sustainable utilization of agricultural natural resources, reinforcing marine fisheries and aquaculture production and consumption, boosting capacity in animal disease prevention and control, improving plant production and protection, consolidating linkages of small famers and agricultural producers to markets, and consolidating a results-based system for monitoring and reporting results.

Photo: ©FAO/Alessandra Pierdomenico
FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, at the signature ceremony today.

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