SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia, a major exporter of fruits and vegetables in the Gulf, through its Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) has started implementing the first phase of two initiatives to plant 49 million fruit and lemon trees in various regions of the Kingdom.

The green movement is part of the ambitious Saudi Green Initiative with the slogan “From Ambition to Action”.

The ministry says the initiative will be implemented in cooperation with the Agricultural Development Fund and the private sector establishments.

The Kingdom has plans to plant 45 million fruit trees in agricultural terraces, and four million lemon trees with renewable water by the year 2030.

In addition to making the Kingdom which is currently looking to transform global perceptions of the country meet its green cover pledge, the initiative will half its spending on the import of fruits, amounting to around SR4.5 billion, to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Furthermore, the two initiatives are expected to contribute effectively to the fruit crop’s sustainability, cultivation, and production to achieve food security and sustainable development, exploit rainwater and renewable water, and benefit from it in irrigation and replenishing groundwater reserves.

The country also aims to encourage farmers, investors, and entrepreneurs to invest in planting fruit trees and manufacturing industries, increase green space to contribute to reducing carbon emissions, and create job opportunities.

 The move will also help in increasing income in the targeted areas for the sustainability of rural resources, to achieve the goals of the Saudi Green Initiative, promoting eco-tourism, providing opportunities for training university students, and conducting scientific research at the local and global levels, following the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030.

The initiative master plan was revealed during a workshop organized by the Ministry on Tuesday at its headquarters in Riyadh.

Several officials and directors of the Ministry’s branches attended the event, which aimed at formulating criteria and conditions for selecting sites and determining the locations of nurseries and afforestation to achieve the objectives of the two initiatives.

From the event, the officials pointed out that 5 million fruit trees will be planted in the regions of Makkah, Asir, Al-Baha, and Jazan, and four million lemon trees will be planted with renewable water in the regions of Riyadh, Eastern Province, Makkah, Najran, Qassim, Madinah, Al-Baha, Asir, and Jazan.

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