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Agricultural development in Saudi Arabia: Policies and evaluations

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posted on 05.03.2010, 11:10 by Abdullah A. Al-Obaid
Saudi Arabia is largely considered as a single-commodity economy, heavily dependent on oil exports. The government, having realised the risks of this dependency, has taken delineated actions to make the best use of the huge oil-revenues to develop all sectors of the economy. Throughout the planning process, great consideration has been given to the agricultural sector, and various policies and programmes have been undertaken to increase its productivity. Such commitment is justified in view of the different constraints involved, and the fact that this sector is still the largest labour-employing sector in Saudi Arabia. This study attempts to identify the problems and constraints that face agriculture in Saudi Arabia and to provide an assessment of the effects of government policies and planning efforts in agriculture, particularly during the period of the development plans which started in 1970. The effects of the governments' policies and planning efforts are gauged in terms of their ability to produce enough food to feed the population, and the structural transformation of the agricultural sector from a traditional to a modern one. In this study, historical, descriptive and analytical methodological approaches have been utilised. The main goal this study seeks is to provide the Saudi planners and decision-makers with some valuable implications concerning the existing agricultural policies and programmes. In order to achieve the goals of this study, a review of literature concerning some issues of agricultural development has been conducted, in addition to a profile of the Saudi economy.


College of Agriculture, King Saud University



Rees, H.

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University of Leicester

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