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Vice Minister of Environment Launches First Saudi AgriFood Tech Alliance

The Vice Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Mansour Al-Mushaiti, unveiled the establishment of the first Saudi Agriculture Food Tech Alliance (SAFTA) at the launch ceremony on Wednesday in Riyadh, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The project crystalizes the mutual efforts of the following founding partners:

  • The Research, Development and Innovation Authority
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
  • Topian, a subsidiary of NEOM
Saudi Vice Minister of Environment Launches First Saudi AgriFood Tech Alliance
Saudi Vice Minister of Environment Launches First Saudi AgriFood Tech Alliance

The alliance aims primarily at creating a positive community for all stakeholders in the agricultural and food technology sector and building a strong integrated network to deploy the cutting-edge agricultural technologies throughout the Kingdom.

Al-Mushaiti said that SAFTA will be a valuable platform for national collaboration and communication to foster the modern technologies in the Saudi food sector.

SAFTA brings numerous entities from public, private sectors and universities, altogether to work under the same umbrella as the first alliance of its kind in the region.

“Forty institutions have joined this alliance, including major local companies in the agriculture and food production sector, several universities and research centers, finance and investment funds, and non-profit organizations,” said Al-Mushaiti.

Saudi Vice Minister of Environment Launches First Saudi AgriFood Tech Alliance
Saudi Vice Minister of Environment Launches First Saudi AgriFood Tech Alliance

Successful Strategies

Al-Mushaiti underscored the strategies, the regulatory and legislative environment and institutional frameworks that paved the way for the recent promising success, as follows:

  • A national strategy for the environment
  • An integrated system for preserving and developing natural resources
  • A national water strategy
  • A system for water and smart irrigation to make use of every drop of water
  • A national strategy for agriculture
  • A system for sustainable agricultural development to enhance food security
  • An executive strategy for research and innovation
  • Multiple programs to boost entrepreneurship
  • A successful plan to accelerate the development and localization of modern technologies
Saudi Vice Minister of Environment Launches First Saudi AgriFood Tech Alliance
Saudi Vice Minister of Environment Launches First Saudi AgriFood Tech Alliance

Therefore, the agricultural sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product increased to SR109 billion ($29 billion) in 2023, the highest contribution of this sector in its history.

Al-Mushaiti stressed that increasing local and global demand for food and the disruptions in global supply chains requires signing more partnerships to achieve a sustainable future of agriculture and food in the Kingdom.

SAFTA will address these challenges through the adoption of technological solutions, including innovations related to precision agriculture, biotechnology, nanotechnology, alternative foods, innovative fertilizers and biopesticides.

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