Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – The first all-female incorporated prawn production factory is expected to launch in the Saudi Arabian city of Al Laith in Mecca, estimated to cost SR7.5 million (US$2 million).
It is expected that up to 700 women will make up the factory’s production units over the next five years following the recent announcement of concluding a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture, the King Abdullah Foundation for His Parents for Development Housing and the National Prawn Company. The agreement includes the establishment of a female training center as a preparatory step towards the establishment of the all-woman factory – the first of its kind in the region.
After signing the agreement, Agriculture Minister Dr. Fahd al Ghunaim stated that economy is based on the private sector, which is an active partner in the development process, highlighting that the ministry encourages businessmen and investors to take an interest in national factors in the training and employment process. The minister added that shareholding agricultural companies play a key role and that they have reached a stage that may require reconsideration of certain trends. He expected agricultural companies’ profits for 2008 to exceed SR100 millions (US $26.6 millions).
Within the same context, Dr. Fahd al Maghlouth, the director general of the King Abdullah Foundation for His Parents for Development Housing told Asharq al Awsat that the agreement was intended for training the female community of al Ghala village of in Al Laith to work at the prawn production factory.
Al Maghlouth said that the center would be developed and adjusted in agreement with the National Prawn Company. Transportation and a high level of privacy would be provided. “This project brings together the charitable and private sectors in a manner that raises the economic standard of families and positively reflects upon the social status. The foundation seizes any employment or training opportunity that boosts the status of the individual and citizen,” he added.
The Agriculture Minister stated that the ministry prepared and submitted a strategic plan that outlines the general framework of the Ministry’s future strategy to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, highlighting the comparative advantages of respective provinces regarding agriculture until 2020, which was outlined in cooperation with the King Abdullah Institute for Research and Consultative Studies of King Saud University and a number of government authorities.