King’s new initiative to empower small income groups

‘Greatest blessing is the security and stability in our country’

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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman speaks to Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadli during the launch of the Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Program at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Wednesday. — SPA

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH —
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman launched the Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Program, which targets eight promising business sectors, at a ceremony held at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The King watched a video presentation, highlighting the salient features of the Program and its target sectors. The Program is part of the Kingdom’s strategy to optimize its resources, improve the income of small farmers, provide jobs, and achieve food security and balanced development.

Speaking on the occasion, King Salman expressed happiness over the competence of Saudis in all fields.

“This is a great blessing from Almighty Allah that the availability of all means of education in schools, universities and colleges across the country, that makes the Kingdom attain self-sufficiency by its citizens. But the greatest blessing is the security and stability in our country that made the work proceed smoothly in every field,” the Monarch said.

He noted that the greatest one of all the blessings is that the Kingdom is the land of the Two Holy Mosques. “Like any other members of the Royal Family and our citizens, I have the honor to be the servant of the Two Holy Mosques,” he said.

The Program targets the following eight sectors — production, manufacturing and marketing of Arab coffee; beekeeping and production of honey; development of cultivation of rose and aromatic plants; production, manufacturing and marketing of fruits; enhancement of the capacities of small fishermen and fish farmers; development of the sector of small livestock breeders; cultivation of rain fed crops, as well as the enhancement of the revenues of small holdings and agricultural activities.

Delivering a speech on the occasion, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadli said that the program is one of the fruits of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which seeks to achieve a balanced economic and social development among various segments of the society through the optimal and sustainable exploitation of renewable natural, agricultural and hydrological resources in several phases, of which the first phase starts today and the program will continue until the year 2025.

Last September, King Salman issued a royal decree approving the adoption of the Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Program to support farmers in various regions of the Kingdom, with financial allocations amounting to SR7.35 billion for a period of seven years in addition to SR1.5 billion as the capital cost for the project.

Later, the Agricultural Development Fund allocated about SR 3 billion to finance the Program.

Al-Fadli said that farmers and their families across the Kingdom greeted the Program with joy due to its social and economic benefits, which exceed the allocated financial investments.

“The Program, through its eight sectors, would help empower small producers in the fields of agriculture, livestock breeding, fishing and production of honey through tapping opportunities and resources with the objective of diversifying agricultural production base in the rural regions,” the minister added.


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