Four new crops added to export ban list


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia will ban the export of four new crops by November, Al-Eqtisaadiah newspaper reported on Saturday.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced that corn, olives, grapes and pumpkins will be added to the list of crops banned for export. The export of watermelons, peaches, potatoes, onions and tomatoes were banned earlier.

The ministry took the decision in an effort to save water used for irrigation. These crops will only be sold in local markets, restricting the need to produce surplus amounts for export.

The ministry has previously put in place a strategy to reduce water consumption in the agriculture sector. Farmers are allowed to grow wheat in an area not exceeding 50 hectares.

The ministry has warned farmers who grow crops in an area exceeding 100 hectares will have their farms shut down.

The ministry promised to compensate farmers for their losses from SR4,000 to a maximum of SR200,000. Gradually, the farmers will have to move into growing crops in greenhouses and conservatories and adopt new methods of irrigation to conserve water.