These Saudi Women Are Leaving Their Mark through Agriculture
Across the globe, the impact of agriculture is undeniable. Farming is an essential part of economy and society, and farmers are unsung heroes who keep the nation going and growing, and this is no different in Saudi Arabia when it comes to providing people with fresh produce needed for nutritious, delicious meals. Indeed, when you look at it, the Kingdom’s local agriculture industry continues to be an integral part of feeding the nation, and it's not just male farmers who are growing the nation; women are too! Female farm owners may seem like a rarity, so let’s take this opportunity to look at three women making an impact through agriculture in Saudi Arabia.
Norah Shawi Al-Shimmari (Beekeeper)
Norah Shawi Al-Shimmari is a mother of six from Ha’il, and the only female beekeeper in the region. With many years of experience in the industry, Al-Shimmari holds a fountain of knowledge on how bees behave, and she continues to build her skills in beekeeping by learning more about the work from colleagues and fellow beekeepers. For her efforts, she was recognized recently by Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture.
Afra Gabi (Livestock Farmer)
Afra Gabi grew up in a family of farmers whom she learned much of her skills from. Today, she grows almonds and a number of fruits, but she also has livestock, mainly goats and chickens. In fact, she started her farming career with a single cow that she bought for SR5,000. Today, she owns nine. She is quite a hard worker as she starts her laborious work by sunset and does not stop to rest until sunset.
Zulekha Al-Kaabi (Banana Farmer)
Zulekha Al-Kaabi is a businesswoman, and owner of a banana plantation in Damad, in the Jazan region. What makes her stand out is that she is amongst the few Saudis trying their hands on growing bananas, but she is also quite skilled in harvesting and distributing her produce. Currently, the farm is cultivating an area of 500,000 square meters with 100,000 banana trees.