United Nations, Asharq Al-Awsat- The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on Wednesday that 14 projects worth $60 million have been approved to upgrade Saudi Arabian development sectors over the next five years, including an upgrade of a camel research center.
The activities of the date-palm research center and olive unit established under the 2001-2006 program, as well as existing centers for Arabian horse breeding, fish farming, tropical fruits and citrus, will be strengthened under the new program, FAO said in a statement.
The agreement was signed by FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf and Saudi Minister for Agriculture Fahd Bin Abdulrahman bin Sulaiman Balghunaim in Rome on Wednesday.
This new five-year program will also cover improved water management, irrigated agriculture, and will address the problems of small-scale farmers in rural areas with the support of rural institutions.
The joint FAO-Saudi cooperation spans five decades, as the FAO provided technical support in the past to five national Saudi research centers for the development of aquaculture, rangelands, tropical fruits, citrus crops, and animal genetic resources. The FAO coordination office is based in Riyadh.