1997 News Story

Agriculture ministry reports increase in cultivated land

The Ministry of Agriculture and Water reports that the area of land under cultivation in the Kingdom is growing at a rate of 2.75 percent annually, and in 1995 reached 1,642,910 hectares, an 11 percent increase over the 1991 fugure.  The government of Saudi Arabia gives farmers land free-of-charge, and offers loan programs to encourage farming.  This year, 44 permits for farming projects have been issued so far at a cost of SR 233 million (U.S. $ 62.1 million).  The total amount of loans from 1964 to 1995 exceeds SR 27.5 billion (U.S. $ 7.3 billion), most for modern agricultural equipment and machinery.

In addition, the Ministry reports that there are now more than 50,000 miles of farm roads which have an effective role in accelerating agricultural development in the Kingdom.   As for pastureland, almost 18,000 hectares of natural pasturage were fenced, and more than 10,500 hectares planted during 1995 in 72 different areas of the Kingdom.