In a move to bolster farming and promote sustainable practices, Saudi Arabia’s Agricultural Development Fund has launched a new financial product specifically designed to support rural farms.
The initiative aims to develop farms by diversifying their income sources, ensuring long-term sustainability, and capitalizing on unique rural opportunities. It also aims to play a role in preserving local ecosystems, fostering environmental and rural tourism, according to a report by the Saudi Press Agency.
The fund’s strategy involves providing financial support to existing and productive agricultural businesses, covering both their investment and operational expenses.
Eligibility criteria include the possession of a property deed or advanced agricultural record and obtaining a license from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture for this specific activity.
Applicants are also required to submit a simplified technical study that outlines the required funding areas. The farm should be productive and have an area suitable for both agriculture and agricultural tourism.
Through this new financial offering, the fund aims to enhance services provided to visitors, aiming to enrich the overall visitor experience and thereby promote agricultural and rural tourism.
In June, farmers in Saudi Arabia attained SR1.5 billion ($400 million) after the fund signed off a tranche of development loans.
According to a statement at the time, the payouts were approved for small farmers involved in greenhouse vegetable production, poultry breeding and fish and shrimp farming.
The statement added that refrigeration warehouses, date manufacturing and marketing centers also received financial support.
The approval of these loans underlines the fund’s objective to boost its developmental and financing role for agricultural activity.
It is also in alignment with the policies of the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture and the Kingdom’s food security strategy of supporting the farming sector and boosting the supply chain.
Additionally, in the first three months of this year, the fund signed off on development and investment loans worth more than SR2.3 billion, compared to the SR861 million handed out in the same period of 2022.
The fund sanctioned loans worth SR4.2 billion in 2022.
Source: Arab News