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Morarka Foundation to develop organic farming in Saudi Arabia

The Foundation is already providing technological know-how to countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Australi

Morarka Foundation, promoters of natural agriculture in the country since last 10 years, has recently tied-up with GTZ Saudi Arabia to develop their organic farming sector.

“With our vast experience and knowledge in the farming segment, the Agriculture Ministry of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia selected Morarka Foundation as resource organisation for technology transfer to develop organic agriculture in that country,” the Foundation’s Executive Director Mukesh Gupta said.

The Foundation is already providing technological know-how to countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. “with Saudi Arabia, we have now entered into Middle East countries with our expertise. We are now looking to expand in the Middle East and other Asian nations in developing organic agriculture,” he said.

Saudi Arabia mainly produces date palm, grains and horticultural products, Gupta said, “We will take step by step approach in converting farming in Saudi Arabia. We will begin with date palm and then extend to grains, vegetables and fruits.” Presently, 15000 hectares are under certified organic farming in Saudi Arabia and another 30000 hectares are under conversion. It takes about three years for converting any farmland into an organic farm.

A 30-member delegation, including 20 progressive farmers and 10 senior officials from the agriculture ministry of Saudi Arabia will visit Foundation’s organic project sites in Bhuj in Gujrat, Patankalan and Nawalgarh in Rajasthan to have first hand experience, he said. Besides Saudi Arabia has also participated in 3-day international organic trade fair – BioFach India 2010 that began in Mumbai on 7th December 2010 at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon.

“The overall objective of the tie-up is to develop a state-of-art organic sector in production, marketing and certification to satisfy consumer demands for healthy organic food in Saudi Arabia,” GTZ Team Leader Dr. Marco Hartmann said.

“GTZ also aims to offer opportunities to farmers and producers within the domestic and export markets to keep up with global food production quality standards.” He said. Saudi Arabia is looking to convert its livestock into ‘organic livestock’ , however, this will take tine, he added.

by S. C.
03 january 2011, World News > Asia