$26M HOSPITAL IN SAUDI ARABIA’S QASSIM TO IMPROVE VETERINARY SERVICES

  • The Salam Veterinary Camel Hospital, in the Qassim region, cost an estimated SR100 million ($26.66 million) and aims to allow the private sector to provide camel breeders with veterinary services
    RIYADH:
    The world’s largest and most modern camel hospital is nearing completion in the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported, with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture following up on the facility’s final construction and operational stages.

The Salam Veterinary Camel Hospital, in the Qassim region, cost an estimated SR100 million ($26.66 million) and aims to allow the private sector to provide camel breeders with veterinary services and ensure the sector’s sustainability and development.

The ministry’s undersecretary for animal resources, Dr. Hamad Al-Batshan, reviewed the project’s progress and the Salam Veterinary Group’s expansion plan, including the construction of another hospital.

Source: www..arabnews.com

EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF G20 AGRICULTURE MINISTERS CONCLUDED

Riyadh, Apr 21, 2020, SPA — The extraordinary meeting of G20 Agriculture Ministers was concluded today by issuing a final communique which reads as follows:
“We, the G20 Agriculture Ministers, are deeply saddened by the devastating human losses and suffering caused by the spread of COVID-19. We commit to cooperating closely and taking concrete actions to safeguard global food security and nutrition.

We reaffirm the importance of working to ensure the continued flow of food, products, and inputs essential for agricultural and food production across borders in line with our Leaders’ Statement on COVID-19 of March 26, 2020.

We acknowledge the challenges of minimizing the risk of COVID-19 while keeping food supply chains functioning. We will continue to work to ensure the health, safety, welfare, and mobility of workers in agriculture and throughout the food supply chain.

We will guard against any unjustified restrictive measures that could lead to excessive food price volatility in international markets and threaten the food security and nutrition of large proportions of the world population, especially the most vulnerable living in environments of low food security. We agree that emergency measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary, and that they do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global food supply chains, and are consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. We recognize the importance of transparency and commend the Trade and Investment Ministers’ commitment to notify the WTO of any trade-related measures taken, including those related to agriculture and essential foodstuffs. We reaffirm our agreement not to impose export restrictions or extraordinary taxes on food and agricultural products purchased for non-commercial humanitarian purposes by the World Food Programme (WFP) and other humanitarian agencies.

We emphasize the work of the G20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and take note of AMIS’ assessment that at present global food supplies are adequate and food markets remain well balanced. As members, we commit and call on other members to continue providing timely and reliable information on global food market fundamentals to help markets, countries, and consumers make informed choices. Where appropriate, we will coordinate policy responses, supported by the AMIS Global Food Market Information Group and the AMIS Rapid Response Forum. We call for continued support for AMIS, including through voluntary financial contributions.”

Source: www.spa.gov.sa.com

ADF FINANCES 33 PROJECTS TO MITIGATE CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

RIYADH — The measures and initiatives taken by the Saudi Arabian government to address coronavirus impact have contributed to mitigating coronavirus impact on the agricultural sector and strengthening food security through Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) support packages worth around SR2 billion and SR450 million.

Since the beginning of the crisis and in line with government efforts to reduce the economic impacts of coronavirus pandemic, the Fund has been keen to support its clients to ensure the continuation of agricultural activities, and to contribute to the continuation of food supply chains and the abundance of agricultural products.

The Fund launched the “Financing the importation of agricultural products targeted in food security strategy’ with a total worth of SR2 billion, and the Fund has approved four contracts worth SR348 million until now. This initiative focused on importing rice, sugar, yellow corn and soybeans from abroad.

With regard to forms of support to its clients, the Agricultural Development Fund has allocated SR300 million for the working capital initiative represented by direct operational loans or through commercial banks, and it has approved financing 29 loans at a total value exceeding SR207 million.

The number of beneficiaries benefiting from postponing the installments of small and medium enterprises projects initiative has reached 4,395, and deferred installments amounted to 4,752 at a total value of SR150 million.

The Fund’s initiatives come in implementation of the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to work on serving the priorities of development and economic needs, and as a continuation of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to support the private agricultural sector to play its active role in economic development, and contribute to achieving food security.

The Fund calls on all beneficiaries to visit the website (http://e.adf.gov.sa) to request financing products, inquire or for e-services. For more information on the initiatives visit: https://initiatives.financialsector.gov.sa/Pages/default.aspx — SPA

Source: www.saudigazette.com

G20 Agriculture Ministers continue close cooperation to safeguard global food security amid COVID-19

The G20 Agriculture Ministers held a virtual meeting today to maintain close cooperation to address impact of Covid-19 on food supply and take concrete actions to protect global food security and nutrition. During the meeting, the G20 Agriculture Ministers highlighted the importance of ensuring “the continued flow of food, products, and inputs essential for agricultural and food production across borders, in line with the G20 Leaders’ Statement on COVID-19 of March 26, 2020.” G20 Agriculture Ministers said that they acknowledge the challenges facing member states in minimizing the risk of the pandemic on food supply while keeping food supply chains functioning. They called to avoid “any unjustified restrictive measures that could lead to excessive food price volatility in international markets and threaten the food security and nutrition of large proportions of the world population.”

“We agree that emergency measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary, and that they do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global food supply chains, and are consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules,” G20 Agriculture Ministers said in a statement, stressing the importance of the G20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS).

“We commit and call on other members to continue providing timely and reliable information on global food market fundamentals to help markets, countries, and consumers make informed choices.” G20 Agriculture Ministers will work closely together “to ensure that adequate, safe and nutritious food continues to be available and accessible to all people, including the poorest, the most vulnerable and displaced people” in a safe, timely and orderly manner, in line with national requirements. G20 Agriculture Ministers called for “enhanced cooperation between the public and private sectors to help mobilize rapid and innovative responses to impacts of this epidemic on the food and agriculture industries”. They stressed the importance of avoiding food losses and waste caused by food supply chains disruptions, which would aggravate food insecurity, nutrition risks and economic loss.They urged to enhance the sustainability and resilience of food systems at a global level, “including future shocks from disease and pest outbreaks and the global challenges driving these shocks.” “In line with the One Health approach, we call for strengthened mechanisms for monitoring, early warning, preparedness, prevention, detection, response, and control of zoonotic diseases, and developing science-based international guidelines on stricter safety and hygienic measures for zoonosis control,” said Ministers. G20 Agriculture Ministers thanked farmers, workers, and small, medium and large-sized agri-food businesses for their ongoing efforts to ensure food supplies for all. Ministers expressed willingness to work closely with relevant international organizations and within their mandates to strengthen international cooperation, identify additional measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition, and share best practices and lessons learned. They said that they will take any additional measures as necessary to contain the pandemic, confirming their readiness to reconvene as required.

Source: https://www.mewa.gov.sa/en/MediaCenter/News/Pages/News2142020.aspx

Saudi Arabia targets 200,000t shrimp output by 2025

BANGKOK, Thailand — The kingdom of Saudi Arabia claims to be on course to up its farmed shrimp output to 200,000 metric tons by 2025 as part of the state’s ambitious aquaculture development program, announced earlier this year.

The state is investing $400 million in developing its total aquaculture output to 600,000t over the next five years, meaning that shrimp is set to account for a third of the Saudi market by volume.

According to Haydar Al Sahtout, an adviser to the Saudi Aquaculture Society, the country’s shrimp production is set to drop in 2019 from 64,025t to approximately 50,000t; however, this is expected to be a one-off drop within a longer-term upward trend, the adviser said, speaking at the recent Infofish shrimp conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We expect a slight drop in 2019, but again strong new projects are in the pipeline under construction, with big investments and international investors on the way — many of you have heard or read about the plans now,” Al Sahtout told listeners.

The state government will be making Best Aquaculture Practices certification mandatory for all shrimp farmers by next year, Al Sahtout added, noting that the Middle Eastern kingdom has been developing strong biosecurity measures in an effort to safeguard against diseases as the industry grows.

In Saudi Arabia, shrimp farming is almost entirely situated along the southern shores of the Red Sea, and there are no small-scale individual farms — all are vertically-integrated farming projects, with feed mills, hatcheries, farms and processing plants all connected under the same umbrella.

“Only vannamei is allowed in the country for now, although there are some plans for bringing in freshwater shrimp in the eastern province later on,” Al Sahtout said.

The country also obtains its specific pathogen-free, or SPF, shrimp broodstock from Thailand, he added, provided by agri-conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF).

Middle East set for rapid shrimp growth despite 2019 whitespot setback

Production across the Middle East is likely to follow Saudi Arabia’s lead, with strong government support leading to a slew of farming expansion projects across the region, according to Al Sahtout.

However, 2019 has seen a drop in total shrimp production across the region to just under 100,000t, believed to be caused by outbreaks of whitespot disease this year.

Robins Macintosh, executive vice-president of CPF, noted that Saudi Arabian farmers had also been importing shrimp broodstock that was specific-pathogen resistant/ specific pathogen tolerant/ all pathogens exposed from other sources besides CPF, which were attributed for spreading the syndrome.

Nevertheless, those farms where whitespot had been detected were still performing relatively well, he said.

The expectation is that shrimp production in the Middle East will rise to 500,000 metric tons before the end of 2030, adviser Al Sahtout said.

In part, this will be driven by major government projects in existing shrimp farming players Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran, as well as the development of new production sites in Oman and Qatar.

In late 2017, Egypt opened a major new integrated tilapia and shrimp farm, the largest in the Middle East, at a cost of $90 million, built in a partnership between China’s Guangdong Evergreen Group and the Egyptian military.

The effects of this new development are unclear, Al Sahtout said, as official data has been difficult to come by.

“So far the production over the past 10 years has been steadily growing, but we are not sure what has been happening over the past three or four years,” he told listeners. “In Egypt, we are not aware of diseases, but whether production has remained stable at 7,000t from 2014 or gone up or down, we can’t say for certain.”

Iran’s export-oriented vannamei industry is also promising to rise sharply in production over the next decade, according to Al Sahtout.

“In 2018, they reached 45,000t, we expect slightly lower production in 2019, but they are preparing to take off to more than 60,000t by 2021.”

Major new government projects in Oman and Qatar have also set lofty production targets; Oman is currently developing five shrimp farms with backing from Thailand and Singapore, with a 2030 target of 71,200t of shrimp per year.

Meanwhile, Qatar, which currently has no shrimp farms at all, has plans to set up some initial farms using US technology capable of producing 3,000t per year, then rapidly ramping up annual production to a goal of 100,000t in the next five years.

Contact the author dan.gibson@undercurrentnews.com

Source: https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2019/11/19/saudi-arabia-targets-200000t-shrimp-output-by-2025/

Four Saudi aquaculture firms merge in $133 million deal

The company aims to achieve an output of 300,000 metric tons by 2035.

Four Saudi aquaculture firms have merged in a SAR 500 million ($133 million/€120 million) deal, Reuters reported.

The merged entities include the aquaculture division of Jazan Energy and Development Company (Jazadco), Tabuk Fisheries Company, Tharawat Seas and Aquaculture Sharq Farms. The new company, Advanced Aquaculture Company, is expected to have an initial production of 60,000 metric tons. Species farmed include seabass, seabream and shrimp.

The company aims to achieve an output of 300,000 metric tons by 2035.

The Saudi Press Agency said the move was in line with the ministry’s goals of developing local aquaculture and more mergers were to be expected in the sector.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia produced just under 50,000 metric tons of aquaculture products, which is double what it produced a decade ago. The government’s new and ambitious plan is to reach 600,000 metric tons of production by 2030 to meet local consumption and population growth. The country’s seafood consumption is projected to grow 7.4 percent annually until 2030.

Source: https://www.intrafish.com/finance/four-saudi-aquaculture-firms-merge-in-133-million-deal/2-1-748043

Saudi Arabia Stresses Food, Water Supplies Unaffected by Virus

Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Arabia stressed that the pumping water, as well as agricultural activity and supply chains, are operating regularly and are unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak. It added that operations on food security projects were working at the highest levels amid the global pandemic.

According to the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman al-Fadhli, the ministry’s various sectors are working smoothly and in continuous coordination to secure food and water supplies.

While inspecting food security projects in Riyadh, Fadhli said water pumping is operating smoothly throughout the Kingdom, with 9.7 million cubic meters being provided daily. Operations at desalination plants are moving smoothly.

On the agriculture sector, Fadhli said that the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) is capable, when needed, to produce about 270,000 flour bags, weighing 45 kilograms each, per day.

A statement by the ministry, a copy of which was obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, revealed that the Kingdom’s storage capacity of wheat stands at about 3.3 million tons, with production at 15,100 tons per day.

On fresh food, the ministry said the country can produce over 180,000 tons of various vegetables per month.

There are no shortages in the market, it stressed. Poultry production is at 3.5 billion chickens and 15 million eggs per day. Milk production exceeds 7.5 million liters and seafood 437 tons per day.