epidemic known as the 'Rift Valley Feverí is completely under control.
Minister of Health briefed the weekly cabinet meeting held at
Al-Salam palace in Jeddah. on the latest developments of the health
situation in Jizan, south west of Saudi Arabia, and reported that
the epidemic known as the 'rift valley feverí that hit the region
over the last few days was completely under control. The Minister
told the cabinet that the authorities concerned, including the
Ministry of Agriculture and Water, were exerting great efforts to
expedite the elimination of this disease.|
compiled by Saudia-Online staff
generation registers 18-fold rise in 25 years
17th September, 2000
The total electricity generation
capacity of electricity companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has
registered an 18-fold rise, accounting for 20,647 megawatts, in
nearly 25 years and showing a rate of annual increase of 13.7 per
This is disclosed in statistics
prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Electricity for a period
from 1395AH to 1419AH.
The available capacity of some
desalination plants in the Kingdom was utilized to produce 2,271
megawatts in 1419AH. Since almost all economic sectors need the
flexibility of electric power to boost productivity and living
standards, and to minimize environmental pollution, the government
of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al
Saud has devoted every effort to make electricity available in all
regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as quickly as possible.
The number of subscribers in the
same year increased to more than 3,371,000 subscribers, increasing
more than 10 folds over 1395AH, with an annual rate of increase of
10.6 per cent.
Saudis make up 69.1 per cent of the
28,785 people employed in the electricity sector.
By the end of 1419AH the length of
electric power transmission lines in the Kingdom totaled about
17,000 kilometers and the length of distribution networks accounted
for more than 103,000kms. In addition, the lengths of lines
delivering low voltage power to subscribers was about 106,000kms.
The Ministry's statistics showed that the number of cities,
provinces and centers having electricity totaled more than 7,083 by
The total electric power production
sold in the Kingdom in 1419AH was about 105 million megawatts/hour,
with a rate of increase of 8.8 per cent over the previous year.
The Industry and Electricity
Ministry also established several training centers affiliated to the
Electricity Company to attract young Saudis to train them to work in
the electricity sector and to further develop indigenous manpower.
As part of qualitative
improvements, there has been a trend toward using high capacity
steam plants to meet the rising electricity demand. The first steam
plant in the Kingdom in Ghazlan, Eastern region, became operational
in 1400AH. It has four units. The capacity of each is 400 megawatts.
Currently, the second Ghazlan power
steam plant is being built. It has four units. The capacity of each
is 600 megawatts. It is expected to be completed in 1422AH.
The Rabigh steam plant was
completed in 1406AH. It has four units. The capacity of each is 260
At the end of 1409AH, the Alqariah
steam plant in the eastern province was operational. It also has
four units, each of which has a capacity of 600 megawatts.
The ninth electric generation plant
in Riyadh, the Central region, is being constructed. It will have a
total capacity of 1200 megawatts. Completion is expected in 1422AH.
institutions play major role in the development process
17th September, 2000
The Kingdom's financial institutions
have offered a total of SR263 billion to citizens and have made a
great and direct contribution to in its rapid development in various
sectors, especially in agriculture, industry and construction.
In recognition of the important role
of the citizens in the developmental process, the government of
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz has
instituted various programs to support the citizens. This support, in
its various forms (subsidies and soft non-interest loans) has been
provided by financial institutions such as the Agricultural Bank, the
Credit Bank, the Real Estate Development Bank, the Industrial
Development Fund and the Public Investment Fund.
The Real Estate Development Fund: the
Fund was founded in 1395AH with a capital of SR250 million to
encourage citizens to construct private housing and make investment.
The fund had provided loans totaling SR116,728 million for building
545,006 housing units since its foundation until 1419/1420AH as well
as investment loans with a sum of more than SR5 billion.
Industrial Development Fund: the fund
was established in 1394AH with a capital of SR500 million to provide
loans to new industries and to expand existing ones. The fund offered
loans totaling more than SR35 billion since its establishment until
1418/1419AH. The fund offers administrative, financial, technical and
marketing consultations for the projects that it finances.
The Agricultural Bank: the
Agricultural Bank is one of the major factors in agricultural
development through its encouragement of farmers in the use of modern
technology. It was set up in 1382AH and today has more than 70
branches and offices in the Kingdom.
The bank had provided loans totaling
SR30.5 billion from its foundation until 1418/1419AH, as well as
subsidies with a sum of more than SR11billion.
The Saudi Credit Bank: the bank was
set up in 1391AH to provide loans to citizens who have limited incomes
for helping young Saudis wishing to marry or lending to those who wish
to repair their houses or work in vocational jobs. The bank had
provided loans amounting to more than SR6 billion.
The Public Investment Fund: the fund
was set up in 1391AH to assist manufacturing projects of commercial
character. It has provided loans worth SR58 billion to public
establishments and national companies.
areas are doubled in the Kingdom
17th September, 2000
The cultivated areas in the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia have doubled over the last two decades. The figures for
1418AH show that there are now more than 4,885,000 hectares under
cultivation, and a further 53 million hectares that could be prepared
The reports released by the Ministry
of Agriculture and Water attributed the achievements in the
agricultural field to the wise policy adopted by Saudi officials. The
Saudi government has been providing the farmers with incentives
including interest-free soft loans. Despite the scarcity of water in
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi officials have shown determination
to develop the agricultural sector. Economic observers have noted that
the Saudi experience in agriculture is unique of its kind and it has
been appreciated by the agricultural organizations.
In terms of livestock, in 1997 there
were, in the Kingdom some 280,000 cows, 15.5 million of cattle and
790,000 camels. The Kingdom's dairy production amounted to 816,000
ton; its production of red meat amounted to 157,000 ton; and 54,000
ton of fish.
Recognizing the importance of water,
the Ministry of Agriculture and Water has set up 187 dams with a
storage capacity of about 777 million cubic meters. Building these
dams cost about SR three billion. Thirteen new dams are currently
under construction, while arrangements are underway for the
implementation of an additional 12 dams.
In recognition of the agricultural
development accomplished in the Kingdom, the World Food Organization
(FAO) awarded Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul
Aziz the medal of Agricula. The Kingdom was also awarded a Merit
Certificate from FAO. Thanks to the wise agricultural policy, the
Kingdom, which was a wheat importing country, has become a wheat
exporting country. The Kingdom is keen to achieve a balance between
food security and water security in a manner that paves the way for
diversification of the productive base.
By the end of 1997, the area
allocated for production of cereals and fodder amounted to about
955,000 hectares, while the area allocated for vegetables amounted to
about 162,000 hectares in the same year. In 1997, the Kingdom produced
about 2,600,000 ton of fresh vegetables including tomatoes, water
million, potatoes and cucumbers. The Kingdom's production of fruits
exceeded 1,150,000 ton, while its production of dates amounted to
650,000 ton in 1997. Its poultry production amounted to 451,000 ton in
1997, while the production of eggs amounted to 2.39 billion in the
project to be launched Saturday
19th September, 2000
An ambitious project to introduce
computers to the Kingdom's public schools will be launched on
Saturday. The Watani project, initiated by Crown Prince Abdullah bin
Abdul Aziz, the Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard, is
aimed at helping Saudi students cope up with modern technology. Once
the project is completed there will be one computer for every 10
students in the Kingdom, a Press statement said. The schools will be
linked with a national network.