Saudi Arabia invests to strengthen the regional agricultural sector

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi Arabia’s Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) has sanctioned loans and banking services worth more than $221 million (SR820 billion) to boost the country’s agriculture industry.

The Board of the Fund, headed by Abdul Rahman Al Fadhli, Minister of the Environment, Water and Agriculture, approved the initiative which includes supporting the standing capitals and operating expenses of small and medium businesses to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

In partnership with commercial banks in the region, the Board has also approved direct and indirect funding of agricultural industries across the country to aid the import of essential agricultural commodities.

The ADF approved loans worth more than $87.8 million (SR333 million) in May to finance 12 projects in various parts of the country and to import food items. The projects included vegetable gardening, poultry, date factories, as well as imports of corn, yellow corn, and soybeans.

In June, the fund introduced a $530 million (SR2 billion) food security plan to fund imports of critical agricultural products. It approved four contracts worth $92.8 million (SR348 million) as well. The initiative focused on importing yellow grain, sugar, rice and soybeans from abroad.

Other projects included funding the first veterinary camel hospital in Saudi Arabia, dry egg powder factory, broiler chicken production, shelter schemes, guarantee and financial facilities for feed and animal production companies.

The fund plays an influential role in the Kingdom’s agricultural sector growth. It also provides administrative, strategic, technical and marketing consultancies, in addition to financial assistance.