The Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, congratulated His Highness King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, and the Chairman of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, on launching the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP). The program aims to contribute SAR1.2 trillion to GDP and provide 1.6 million job opportunities.
Al-Fadley has unveiled five key initiatives, totaling SAR1.3 billion to boost the aquaculture industry in Saudi Arabia. These initiatives were designed to support the local economy, achieve food security and provide job opportunities, as well as to raise the fish production to reach 600 thousand tons by 2030, meet 65% of domestic demand and reduce production costs by 30%.
Al-Fadley said that the ministry, by virtue of Saudi Arabia's distinctive geographical location and marine environment, will be able to achieve these target figures with maintaining environmental sustainability to conserve the natural resources, in line with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.
"The goal of the "Marketing Campaign" initiative is to raise public awareness of locally produced fish showing its health benefits when compared to imported fish, and to promote the average fish consumption per capita (9 kg -13 kg) in the Kingdom." Al-Fadley said. Adding that the second initiative "Investor Attraction Campaign", aims to increase investments in the aquaculture sector by attracting new local and foreign investors to improve the local production, increase exports and thus reduce imports.
"As for the "Development of Marine Clusters" initiative, it was designed to provide integrated logistics services, develop floating docks, ice factories, gas stations and boat maintenance workshops," he said. Adding that the fourth initiative "Building Infrastructure to Support Aquaculture Sector", aims to establish hatcheries, feed mills and processing plants, and the aim of the latest of these initiatives "Research and Development Support", which was developed in cooperation with well-known local and international research institutions, is to introduce new species with a high economic impact to the Kingdom and develop the feed systems.
Al-Fadley pointed out that the ministry has signed agreements with many parties to activate these initiatives. An agreement was signed between the National Fisheries Development Program and the Saudi Aquaculture Society to raise public awareness on health benefits of seafood, and a Memorandum of Understanding was also signed with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund with aim of developing a program for funding projects of these aquaculture initiatives.
Yet another agreement was signed, as was also pointed out by Al-Fadley, between the National Fisheries Development Program and King Abdulaziz University. The cooperation will entail developing fish hatcheries, and aquaculture programs which aims to qualify Saudi cadres. Adding that the other Memorandum of Understanding which was signed between the National Fisheries Development Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) aims to develop a regional center for fish health and safety for Near East and North Africa.