Introducing Organic Farming in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Project description

Title: Introducing Organic Farming in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Commissioned by: Ministry of Agriculture
Financier: Ministry of Agriculture
Country: Saudi Arabia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture
Overall term: 2005 to 2014

Context

Consumer attention towards food quality has increased overwhelmingly in the Kingdom. The severe use of chemicals within the agro-industrial system has led to a widespread change of awareness regarding production methods and quality of food among both consumers as well as policy makers. On behalf of the Saudi Arabian Government, GIZ International Services develops the organic agriculture sector within the country. Establishing and managing essential structures and institutional development within the public and private sector is among fundamental project objectives. In close cooperation with the project partner, the Ministry of Agriculture, GIZ IS has set up the Department of Organic Agriculture (DOA) as well the Saudi Organic Farming Association (SOFA). So far the institutional and regulatory framework – such as the introduction of the Saudi Organic Regulation & Standards as well the implementation of a national organic food label – has been designed and officially approved.

Objective

Saudi Arabia has a functioning organic sector. Sufficient production, innovative marketing strategies and a transparent national control system are in place. The domestic organic market meets consumers demand for healthy and organic products. The institutional and legal framework supports further sector development. Saudi Arabia’s organic sector changes from an emerging to a growing market. People are aware of the benefits of organic products. The demand for healthy food is continuously growing; organic products are available across the Kingdome and become an increasing part of food sales.

Approach

GIZ IS offers its consultancy services in the following areas:

  • Government: the Organic Farming Project elaborates organic agriculture policies in order to achieve sustainable sector growth. The set-up of a functional governmental monitoring and surveillance system is, among others, one of the projects key targets.
  • Private sector: GIZ IS implements a tailor made market development program to facilitate market access for actors along organic value chains as well as sustainable sector growth in the Kingdom. Furthermore the project is providing strategic advice to the Saudi Organic Farming Association, an independent non-governmental organization. Likewise the project is encouraging business partnerships and creates networking platforms for sector stakeholders.
  • Capacity building: the project provides advisory services relating to awareness creation, quality marketing as well as on-farm extension and research. Moreover, GIZ IS supports governmental organisation development, and delivers technical advice and know-how to organic producers.