A major training programme for farmers that had been halted owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 will resume following government approval.
The Ministers of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the State of Kuwait…32 | the publication reaches you by | Bahrain News
Northern Municipal Council’s technical committee chairman Abdullah Al Qubaisi said Bahraini farmers were highly skilled and dedicated and “some extra guidance and awareness” will help boost their productivity.
“The total agricultural workforce in Bahrain is 9,120 – of which only 650 are Bahraini,” Mr Al Qubaisi pointed out.
“We need to employ more citizens who have proven their abilities, skills and devotion to their homeland on countless occasions.
“They have inherited agricultural knowledge from their forefathers and are passionate about farming. You rarely find that among expatriate workers.
“We have also observed that some expats are negligent and many plants and palms have been damaged due to lack of care.”
He thanked Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf for backing the training plan.
Experienced palm tree trimmers, who have retired this year from the Agriculture Affairs department, will also share their expertise with the farmers.
“We hope the project is implemented soon,” Mr Al Qubaisi said.
The GDN previously reported that Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund is set to invest in a number of major projects, including a food security investment company.
The firm, which is expected to start work in the middle of the year, will first invest in developing agriculture through modern technologies.
Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Kamal Ahmed had said that other projects, including hydroponics, aquaculture and water farming, will be launched across Bahrain’s four governorates within efforts to help increase local produce.
He also revealed that Tamkeen backs the agriculture sector locally through financial support ranging from BD500 to BD10,000 for micro businesses, and BD5,000 to BD500,000 for small and medium businesses and between BD1 million and BD2.5m for bigger and large businesses over a 10-year repayment period.
“So far five people have benefited in the micro category with BD6,500 given in total, 27 have benefited in the small and medium category with BD4.5m given in total and two large companies benefited together from BD2.7m,” said Mr Ahmed.
“We also have numerous projects like the Bahraini Farmers’ Market which sees spending of BD225,000 with 52 Bahraini farmers benefiting each year for three years and the National Aquaculture Programme with spending reaching up to BD88,000 for 15 Bahrainis – who each cost us BD5,876 in training.“
The Permanent Market to Promote Local Produce will see local farmers benefiting from BD250,000 allocated from Tamkeen to fund the project.
An official statement from Mr Khalaf revealed that 200 tonnes were produced through aquaculture from eight major companies with plans underway to increase that number.
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