News from Around the Americas | June 2005
|Mexico to Help in Saudi Arabia's Banana Cultivation|
Mohammed Rasooldeen - Arab News
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Mexico is offering its technology for cultivating bananas in the Kingdom, Mexican Ambassador Raul Topez Lira told a press conference at the embassy last week. He said bananas originally came from Yemen before they were transplanted in Spain and Canary Islands and then in Mexico.
A 10-member trade delegation consisting of members from the Mexican State of Tabasco and from Mexican Company AmEurop visited Kingdom recently.
Chairman of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Abdul Rahman Al-Jeraisy hosted a banquet for the delegation members at RCCI headquarters where they met with their counterparts in the capital.
Speaking about the proposed banana plantation in the Kingdom, the head of the delegation from Tabasco, Nobel Gomez Sanchez, said a study made during his visit to the Kingdom last December revealed that areas in Jizan province are ideal for banana cultivation.
These areas have climatic conditions similar to those of Tabasco which is a banana producing state, Sanchez said adding that another study has been planned to determine the temperature, wind, humidity and water condition before the program goes ahead.
Regarding the viability of the project, he said: Based on historical data we think it is a profitable business.
It was in this region that banana was first produced. Arabs took bananas to the Canary Islands and the Spaniards took them on to the Americas, Sanchez said.
If the conditions are favorable, we will plant an area of 500 hectares and bring plants developed in a laboratory which are fertile and thus avoid delays and losses in production.
He said such cultivation on a commercial scale could produce adequate bananas for local consumption in a period of 12 months and added that they could be exported to other countries in the region.
Mexican exports to the Kingdom are valued at $12.8 million, while its imports have reached $258 million. The Mexican businessmen who visited Dammam and Jeddah during their visit also explored opportunities for other businesses.
Earlier in a statement Ambassador Lira said Mexico is an ideal destination for a family holiday.