Aramco supports Saudi farmers in the ‘Year of Saudi Coffee’
Company has distributed more than 200,000 seedlings to nearly 1,000 farmers.
With their mild year-round climate, Saudi Arabia’s Jazan and Asir regions are ideal environments for growing coffee beans in the Kingdom. Southern farmers, with their strength and determination, have a long history of nurturing what they call “the pampered plant.”
In 2022, the Year of Saudi Coffee, we all have an opportunity to celebrate a cup of coffee, that despite its bitterness, gives your day a special taste of sweetness.
As a good corporate citizen, Aramco looks for ways to support the capabilities of local communities, introducing initiatives that make a difference in people's lives, enabling them to develop themselves, and upgrade their skills.
Aramco has provided support to local coffee growers since 2016, distributing more than 200,000 seedlings and enabling 975 farmers to produce more than 800 tons of coffee beans by the end of 2021. It has also taught Saudi coffee growers new irrigation techniques that save 60% to 80% of the water needed for coffee growing.
By equipping a new Coffee Development Center, which provides technical support for all coffee farmers in the Jazan area, Aramco is laying the groundwork to take this industry to a higher level and boost the global competitiveness of Saudi coffee beans.
According to the American Specialty Coffee Association, Jazan coffee beans scored more than 80 points out of 100 in multiple tests, and the product was classified as a specialty coffee.
Sara A. Al Tamimi, the Corporate Citizenship director, stressed that the main objective of Aramco’s Micro-Industries Initiative is to provide professionals, craftsmen, farmers, beekeepers, and others throughout the Kingdom with financial, moral and technical support and encouragement. The company is doing so with a clear vision and mission in mind that sees people as the crucial component for community development, and the ability to sustain prosperity for generations to come.
Inspiring stories of a land lover “Modawi”
In Jazan, where the tribe of Bani Malik resides, specifically in the village of Al-Qarn, Modawi S. Al-Saeedi rises early in the morning and wakes the sun up on his way up to the top of the Coliseum-like mountain “terraces” overlooking the valley. Leaning on a staff, he moves with a firm will he inherited from his ancestors who carved their secrets in the mountains, and planted fields.
Modawi, a man in his sixth decade, and a beneficiary of the Aramco initiative to support coffee farmers in Jazan, says, “These farms that you now see green and vibrant were once almost dying, if not dead already, until this initiative came to revive this soil and inject new life into its veins.” He adds, “Aramco has supported us with seedlings and modern irrigation techniques. Above all, the training provided by Aramco provided us more knowledge in addition to what we have learned by instinct and heredity.”
Regarding the employment opportunities provided by this initiative, Modawi says, “My children and I work on this farm, and they insist on accompanying and helping me even on their school breaks.
“We plant the seedlings, cultivate the crops and sit down and talk during our breaks. I thank God for blessing us with this good specious land.”
Concerning coffee cultivation, Modawi’s father, Sharif Al-Saeedi, advises, “This is a pampered tree that you cannot neglect. It needs persistent care as it only offers its crops after two years and sometimes after three years. Between planting the seedlings and harvesting the crops, lies a story of caring and perseverance.”
Then he added, "What if you neglected your child? Will he be a man you would be proud of? Similarly, the more you care for the coffee tree, the more it will reward you with excellent crops.”