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What's New? Organic Farming in Saudi Arabia

Photo credit: Unsplash

What’s new?
Palladium has recently begun implementation of Phase 5 of the Organic Action Plan in Saudi Arabia which will strengthen the organic agriculture sector.

This Action Plan aimed at farming will build, develop, and further strengthen the Organic Agriculture sector in KSA as well as raise awareness about safe food production and benefits of organic production systems. The will also ensure the sustainability of the industry which will encourage investment opportunities for producers, increased employment opportunities, and enhanced income generation. Moreover, it will bring about health benefits for members of society.

Where will we be based?
The project is truly a national project, with activities across Saudi Arabia. Our office headquarters is in the Department of Organic Production (DOP) at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) in Riyadh. We have other activities at the Organic Agriculture Research Centre (OARC) in Al Qassem, in central Saudi Arabia.

Who will we be working with?
Our main partner is the Department of Organic Production at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture. We will also work closely with the Saudi Organic Farming Association (SOFA), a cooperative organisation. To implement the Action Plan, we will be working on-the-ground with private sector farmers and other stakeholders in the organic farm production value chains across the country.

What’s our goal?
The goal of the Organic Farming Project is to support the development of the organic farming sector and the broad growth of the organic product market within Saudi Arabia. We will help do this by strengthening the capacity of the monitoring authorities, organic agriculture research, organic certification and production, extension and technology support, and marketing activities.

How will we deliver Positive Impact?
Consumers are becoming more interested in safe food, but demand (and supply) is still limited as the organic market is underdeveloped. This project will increase consumer awareness and confidence in the benefits of organic farming. We will help develop a Saudi National Organic Logo and create the regulatory framework to support the public and the organic sector.

How will we make sure our Positive Impact is enduring?
By working with institutions within Saudi Arabia, we aren’t just doing a project and leaving, but working with stakeholders who will be there long after us. We’ll be training the Department of Organic Production and other partners to strengthen their capacity to manage this transformation; put systems in place for government to effectively regulate organic farm production; and establish marketing initiatives that influence demand and supply. Additionally, this project is not just a short-term solution, but is planned to be implemented in three phases over the next 13 years. This plan fits within the KSA Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan 2020, which ensures its alignment with Saudi Arabia’s overall priorities.