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Ministry effects new agricultural concept

18 February 2015
The Ministry of Agriculture will implement a new concept called "Integrated Farming Systems (IFS)" in Hail, Al-Hassa and Jazan regions in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Deputy Minister for Agriculture Affairs Khaled Al-Fuhaid and the FAO program national coordinator, Abdallah Oihabi, will inaugurate the first Extension Center for Integrated Farms (ECIF) in Al-Hassa late this month.

ECIF is an extension model for implementing good agricultural practices in farming as well as contributing to technology transfer for small-scale farmers in accordance with the best agricultural concepts.

The ECIF in Al-Hassa includes a center for training, workshops and scientific symposiums and a plant clinic to provide agricultural services to the farmer in addition to the application of modern irrigation techniques, and information about good agricultural practices for crops that can have relative advantages in the region which include farms for products such as dates, lime and Hassawi grapes, open field and greenhouses vegetables.

The center also includes barns for livestock and a unit for fertilizers to benefit from agricultural wastes which contribute to improving the agricultural techniques of the farmers, as well as improving production qualitatively and quantitatively.

This will result in the profit for farmers and will contribute to conserving natural resources. Oihabi said that the application of ECIF is considered as one of the most common and effective agricultural concepts in advanced countries.

He said that the most common agriculture development assumption is that technology and agricultural formation are available but not utilized by farmers due to several reasons. If the appropriate methods of transferring these techniques and information to the farmer exist, then improved agricultural practices would be used resulting in improved incomes.

He added that the application of IFS will achieve the environmental sustainability and competitiveness ability of the national product in the market, in addition to contributing to the preservation of the natural resources, especially water.

Oihabi said that the objective behind this idea is to encourage the farm owners to exploit and benefit from all agricultural fields including plant and animal production in addition to the production of organic fertilizers which can be used in the next agricultural agricultural seasons, in order to make considerable returns.

© Arab News 2015

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