Wider cooperation between FAO and Saudi Arabia
Fourteen projects worth nearly US$60 million planned for next five years
22 November 2006,Rome - Fourteen projects worth nearly US$60 million have been approved for the upgrading of various Saudi Arabia development sectors within the next five years (2007-2011), according to a bilateral cooperation programme signed between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The projects will be financed by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“The new programme, which re-affirms the longstanding cooperation between the Organization and the Kingdom, not only counts on FAO expertise but on the training capacities offered by the Organization in a wide range of fields,” said Mr Abdallah Oihabi, Coordinator of the FAO Programme in Saudi Arabia. Agricultural training centres throughout the country will benefit from FAO’s experience in agriculture, fisheries, animal health, and plant production and protection, he added.
FAO-Saudi Arabia cooperation dates back over five decades, with FAO providing technical support to five national research centres for the development of aquaculture, rangelands, tropical fruits, citrus crops and animal genetic resources.
Under this programme, the recently established camel research centre will be upgraded. The activities of the date palm research centre and the olive unit established under the 2001-2006 programme, as well as existing centres for Arabian horse breeding, fish farming, tropical fruits and citrus, will be strengthened under the new programme.
Other projects included in the newly approved programme cover improved water management, sustainable development of irrigated agriculture and capacity building in plant and animal health.
The programme will also address the problems of small-scale farmers in rural areas with the support of rural institutions.
With support from the FAO Regional Office for the Near East, the Riyadh-based FAO Coordination Office, which will oversee the new projects, will play an important role in helping Saudi Arabia reach its objectives in the agriculture, fisheries and water resource sectors, Mr Oihabi said.
The five-year agreement was signed at FAO headquarters in Rome today by the Minister for Agriculture of the Kindgom of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Fahad Bin Abdulrahman bin Sulaiman Balghunaim, and FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf.
Media Relations, FAO
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