A cooperation agreement signed by HE Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of FAO, to provide technical and advisory support to implement the country’s Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Programme. A Memorandum of Understanding developing a cooperation framework for 2019-2025 was also signed by both sides at the signature ceremony.The agreement aimed at promoting production, processing and marketing of Arabic coffee, bee keeping, fruit, fish, livestock, and cultivation of rain-fed crops in the kingdom.
"We hope that the Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Programme will enhance food security in the Kingdom and create employment opportunities for young men and women. We also hope that it will increase the income of families and lead to an increase in gross domestic product. We have high expectations for this program, and we chose FAO to be our privileged partner to follow up on the implementation of the program as it has a long and rich experience in this field. We count on FAO we are and optimistic about its success." Al-Fadley said.
For his part, Graziano da Silva said at the signature ceremony today: "I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its trust in FAO", praising the Kingdom's support for the UN and stressing that FAO will continue to provide technical support to national priorities in line with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.
With this new contribution, Saudi Arabia has become one of the top resource partners of FAO and the biggest one in the Near East region.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of IFAD's 42nd annual Governing Council meeting, 14-15 February 2019 in Rome.
The Saudi delegation led by HE Eng. Al-Fadley gathered high-level officials including Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to FAO, Eng. Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Hawish, Director-General of the International Cooperation Department in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and Mr. Mohammed Al-Zubin, Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Finance.
Furthermore, it is to be noted that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat global hunger. It was founded on October 16, 1945 in Quebec City, Canada then its headquarters was moved to Rome in 1951. It has 194Member Nations, including the European Union, and Saudi Arabia which has become a member of FAO on 09-09-1948.