The Ministry of Agriculture recently announced it plans to ban cultivation of green fodder in the Kingdom and replace it with imported animal feed, local media reported, quoting well-informed sources.
The move is aimed at rationalizing water consumption and streamlining its use to other agricultural areas due to limited water sources in the country, a source from the ministry told Aleqtesadiah daily.
However, the ministry allowed farmers to change their activity and select other agricultural products, with the majority of them choosing potato plantation as an alternative.
According to the source, who preferred to remain anonymous, the decision to stop issuing licenses to cultivate green fodder came as a preliminary step to completely halting its plantation, which has slowly led to the decline of the number of fodder farmers by 12.6 percent yearly.
The economic value of the plantation is low, since its share in the agriculture sector does not exceed 8 percent. Based on the ministry’s latest data, fodder plantation area covered 195,605 hectares which produced over 3,977 tons of animal feed annually.
Despite the growing prices of imported fodder, it remains the best solution to ensure water security for the Kingdom, the source claimed.
Earlier, another source at the Ministry of Agriculture said that the ministry was seeking to adopt a national strategy for fodder for the next five years (2015-2020) on how to supply animal feed products to the Kingdom and, at the same time, on how to cope with the Kingdom’s policy to preserve water resources.