Saudi Arabia's deputy minister for agriculture this week stressed the government's support for organic farming in the kingdom and predicted the further growth of the sector in the coming years, according to Arab News.
"Saudi Arabia’s organic sector is currently undergoing transformation," said Khlaid Al-Fuhaid during the opening of a week-long Agriculture Festival in Riyadh, "which is primarily driven by the support extended by the ministry of agriculture and the initiative of private sector stakeholders."
A recent study forecast that organic farms would make up around 5 per cent of the kingdom's total farming area by 2017. There are currently over 130 organic farms in Saudi Arabia, covering an area of some 35,000ha.
At the same time, Al-Fuhaid talked about the need to phase out production of water-intensive crops due to water shortages, wheat, soya beans and animal fodder being the greatest drain on resources.
The event was held at one of Lulu Hypermarket's outlets in the kingdom, with the retailer offering around 100 varieties of fruit and vegetables, mostly produced locally in places like Al-Qassim, Al-Hasa, Jizan, Qatif and Al-Kharj, at discounted prices during the week.