The leadership of Saudi Arabia signed an investment contract to create the Kingdom’s first “coffee city”, Saudi media reported.
The corresponding agreement, designed for 15 years, was concluded with the Agricultural Cooperative Society in Baljurashi.
The agreement provides for the cultivation of 300,000 Arabica coffee plants and pomegranates on a 1.7 million square meter plot in the village of Mashuka in Al-Bahah province.
They plan to create a large-scale complex, including a typical farm, a nursery for growing seedlings, and an industrial area, where various workshops, warehouses, business centers, training facilities, housing for employees, and a mosque will be located.
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said the new initiative aims to achieve sustainability in food and crop production, encourage investment, create new jobs and enhance the role of cooperative societies in the kingdom.
Riyadh considers Arabica coffee as one of the strategic products of the farming industry. The Al-Bahah region, along with the provinces of Jazan and Asir, is a major center for the cultivation of coffee trees.
The authorities are paying more and more attention to the development of agriculture against the background of the implementation of the state plan Vision 2030, one of the important directions of which is the diversification of the economy and the reduction of dependence on oil exports.
Nevertheless, trade in black gold traditionally provided about 80% of the country’s external income, no less than 75% of budget revenues, and almost half of the state’s GDP.
At the end of the third quarter of this year 2021, the state-owned mining company Saudi Aramco reported a twofold increase in profits. According to this indicator, the company was able to bypass even such giants as Google and Apple.