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Soils and agricultural development in the region of Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia

Al-Jerash, Mohammed Abdullah (1968) Soils and agricultural development in the region of Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The process of agricultural development and its related problems is. a serious economic difficulty facing the developing countries throughout the world. In Saudi Arabia such difficulty is greatly amplified by the almost total lack of comprehensive research and studies about the physico-economic elements of agriculture, notably the soil and its related problems and measures of improvement and conservation. The region of al-Qassim is one of the most important agricultural areas in Saudi Arabia, The region is of an area of 17,800 square kilometres with 84,000 hectares of arable lands. The importance of the region as a crop producing area in Central Arabia has been greatly amplified by the discovery of artesian water, in 1953, in quantities estimated to be sufficient to support all the arable lands in the region for many generations to come. The recent completion of al-Qassim highway, in September, 1967, which connected with the great highway of Arabia - from Dammam on the Arabian-Persian Gulf to Jeddah on the Red Sea - has added a significant economic importance, by breaking down the region's geographical isolation, imposed by the surrounding sand-dunes, These favourable physical requirements for promoting agriculture are allied to the ever increasing demand for a more valuable and diversified diet by the expanding urban population as a result of the increasing rise in the standard of living due to the increased national income from oil revenues. As a result a remarkable expansion in cultivated areas and correlated agricultural activities has evolved. The change from an agricultural- economy based on a semi-subsistence type of agriculture dictated by a shortage of irrigation water to a water-surplus economy characterized by market-orientated production was rather sudden, quick, and unpreceded by appropriate studies and plans. Over the years, these random efforts of expansion have produced a complex of intercalated soil and agricultural problems. This research is dedicated to give a preliminary account of the soils and agriculture in the region. A vital conclusion concerning the soils, however, is that the region's soils comprise a sizeable proportion of alluvium soils of highly promising prospects within the wadi and Qaa associations. Agriculture has been approached through two themes: firstly, the pattern of agricultural production and its related land system, method of cultivation, and marketing processes, and, secondly, the problems facing agricultural development at the present, time, namely, labour shortage and mechanization, irrigation system, structure and methods, and plant and animal disease control.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1968
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 17:04

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