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Saudi environment minister says country on verge of self-sufficiency

The Kingdom has taken important steps toward developing agriculture and enhancing food security while facing climate change, increasing temperatures, and scarce water resources, according to a government minister.

Mansour bin Hilal Al-Mushaiti, who is the deputy minister of environment, water and agriculture, said the steps contributed to improving indicators of food security, consumption systems, reducing waste, and realizing high rates of self-sufficiency for many strategic food items in the local market, and increasing the operational and production levels of agricultural and food systems.

He was taking part in the Arab-Hellenic Food Conference, hosted by the Arab-Hellenic Chamber for Commerce on Oct. 5-6.

Al-Mushaiti said the Kingdom had developed its vision based on building a sustainable agricultural sector that contributed to realizing food and water security and economic, social and environmental development.

Saudi Arabia had adopted a strategy for responsible agricultural investments abroad and developing systems of agricultural and marketing services, in addition to improving agricultural productivity and food quality. It had also adopted several systems, technologies and innovations through its local, regional and international partnerships, he said.

The minister said the COVID-19 pandemic had contributed to increasing the number of people suffering from undernutrition by 132 million.

He stressed the need to utilize digital innovation and platforms such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Knowledge Platform, which is concerned with sustainable food value chains, in addition to benefiting from successful experiments, such as the Greek experience in irrigation and agricultural technologies and food industries, and the Saudi experiment in date palms and fish farming.

Source: Arab News

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