Functions and responsibilities:
• Develop legislation, regulations and plans on plant health and protection, and monitor and evaluate goal achievement.
• Develop legislation and standards on the safety of local plant products in collaboration with relevant authorities to ensure the safety of food of agricultural origin.
• Develop plans and programs on the protection of plant wealth in the Kingdom from pest risks, and control of pests and environmental pollution in cooperation with the relevant authorities.
• Develop legislation and standards on plant quarantine operations (internal and external) in accordance with approved international phytosanitary policies and conventions.
• Develop programs to develop and promote good agricultural (plant) practices (clean farming).
• Coordinate with technical sectors (plant services and other) to develop and control policies and legislation on agricultural inputs (fertilizers, seeds, seedlings, organic pesticides and biocides).
• Ongoing communication and coordination with phytosanitary-related international organization (World Trade Organization (WTO), The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), etc.) for information on plant pests that may affect public health.
• Develop and update agricultural and pest information database and make it accessible to farmers and stakeholders.
• Develop integrated pest management techniques.
• Develop biological control methods to conserve the environment and promote organic and clean production in coordination with the departments concerned.
• Develop mechanisms and methodologies for conducting experiments on organic and biocides and monitor their implementation.
• Benefit from the experience and knowledge gained from research centres, scientific meetings and international conferences.
• Oversee plant services operations and ensure their implementation in accordance with approved policies and procedures.
• Evaluate control activities, control agricultural inputs, and assess goal achievement for plant conservation.
• Develop policies, legislation and technical regulation on agricultural quarantines activities in the regions in collaboration with the General Directorate of Quarantines in the Deputy-Ministry for Animal Resources.
• Oversee the implementation of quarantine activities in the Kingdom (internal and external) related to plant health and protection. And ensure compliance with the policies, procedures and legislation adopted in coordination with General Directorate of Quarantines in the Deputy-Ministry for Animal Resources.
• Supervise the movement of imported, exported and in transit consignments to prevent the entry of plant pests into the Kingdom in collaboration with the General Directorate of Quarantines in the Deputy-Ministry for Animal Resources.
• 6. Ensure that the quarantine in the Kingdom's ports examine all imported, exported and in transit consignments to ensure that they are free of plant pests. In addition to implementing subsequent quarantine procedures including treating, clearing, executing, re-exporting or quaranting in coordination with the General Directorate of Quarantines in the Deputy-Ministry for Animal Resources.
• Develop mechanisms for the auditing and examination of documents of imported, exported and in transit consignments in coordination with the General Directorate of Quarantines in the Deputy-Ministry for Animal Resources.
• Study and analyse periodic reports on consignments infected with plant pests and submit them to the General Directorate of Quarantines in the Deputy-Ministry for Animal Resources for circulation to all quarantines in the regions.
• Study and analysis of periodic reports of international countries and organizations concerned with plant pests and reporting to the General Directorate of Quarantines in the Deputy-Ministry for Animal Resources to distribute circular among all quarantine at the Kingdom's ports.
The General Department of Plant Health and Protection is composed of two divisions:
1- Plant Product Safety Division
2. Phytosanitary Division
1- Plant Product Safety Division
Due to the importance of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in improving crop productivity in quality and quantity, increase their economic competitiveness, reduce the use of pesticides and maintain high productivity of crops, the Plant Product Safety Division was established pursuant to Council of Ministers' Resolution No. 494813 dated 10/11/1436AH (corresponding to 24/8/2015) to enhance safety, quality, and shelf life of the agricultural products.
1. Oversee the safety and quality assurance processes of vegetable product to ensure that produce quality and shelf life are acceptable to the consumer in coordination with the relevant authorities.
2. Documenting experiences and leading models in the field of GAP practices and adopting them in the Kingdom to ensure the safety of food production at farm level.
3. Improve the application of preventive control systems on agricultural production processes and systems using control system, conformity criteria and check list.
4. Carry out studies and laboratory testing necessary to control the safety of agricultural products.
5. Raise awareness of producers and consumers about GAP.
6. Any other duties that are related to the nature of its work, in accordance with the laws and resolutions in force, or assigned to the Division.
1- Participate in the working group that aims to create a project of the agricultural products safety system.
2. The Division is working to find appropriate methods and techniques to educate farmers to adopt GAP.
3. Raise awareness of producers and consumers about GAP.
4. Communicate with a group of farmers wishing to implement GAP to get their Information.
5. Educate farmers and respond to their inquiries regarding the application of GAP.
6. Meeting some representatives of the authorized registered certification bodies (Global GAP) in the Kingdom and discussing ways of cooperation.
2- Phytosanitary Division
It was established pursuant to Council of Ministers' Resolution No. (189/1) dated 22/3/1438AH (corresponding to 21/12/2016) within the Deputy-Ministry for Agriculture. It is previously known as the Department of Crop Protection Department and performs its work in coordination with the concerned authorities to fully perform duties and responsibilities.
It aims to direct, coordinate and follow up biological, mechanical and chemical prevention programs to protect crops from harmful pests and to protect human health and the environment.
1. Develop annual and seasonal integrated pest control programs and plans of actions and follow up their implementation to ensure that they are carried out as envisaged by the Ministry.
2. Use of research results (inside or outside the Kingdom) in the field of agricultural protection and disseminate these results to farmers by all theoretical and practical means.
3. Contribute with the Department of Administrative Development in the preparation of training programs in the field of pest control and agricultural diseases at all levels for qualifying national cadres in the Ministry.
4. Continue providing the necessary support to the Ministry's branches to enable them to implement the field control plans and programs approved.
5. Strengthen agricultural pest and disease control services, educate farmers on methods and techniques to implement pest and disease control operations.
6. Monitor and assess the results of insect pests and plant diseases control programs carried out in the Kingdom's regions and governorates and take necessary steps accordingly.
1- Development and experiments:
A) An executive plan of action for crop protection.
B) A workshop was organized by the Division and attended by the heads of the phytosanitary departments in some public administrations and directorates during the period 7-8 / 2 / 1438AH (7-8/11/2016). The workshop focused mainly on the functions of the Phytosanitary Division, its relationship with the public administrations and agricultural directorates, and its action plan on agricultural pests control, communication among pest control specialists' in the public administrations, directorates and the plant health and protection department, preparation of monthly reports on the Division's works and a standardized reporting form as recommended.
C) Launch public tender for technical support for the list of plant pests and diseases project.
D) Participate with the National Centre for Palms & Dates and the General Directorate for Agriculture Affairs in Hail region in the first phase of implementation of a pesticide experiment to control the red palm weevil in Hail.
E) Conduct five experiments on organic insecticides (Bio-Cure F, Nimbecidine, Sierra Trap2, Garland3, Mycotal) to control greenhouse pests and fruit flies. These experiments yielded good results for controlling the targeted pests.
2. International Organizations and the Plant Quarantine Act:
A) Attend two meetings of the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).
B) 54 penalties have been issued for transportation of palm trees in violation of the Agricultural Quarantine Law.
C) Attend workshops organized by the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in Algeria.
D) Attend the session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) in Rome under the IPPC.
C- Attend the 2nd International Conference on Date Palms in Qassim, which was held at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Qassim University.
3- Participation in conferences and training workshops:
1) Preparation of a working paper on the achievements of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in combating the Opuntia Stricta (locally Known as Balas) to participate in the scientific meeting of the Saudi Society for Agricultural Sciences in Qassim.
2) Participate in MEWA's pavilion in the agricultural exhibition at the National Festival of Heritage and Culture (Janadriyah) on biological control and some biological control methods such as posters of pan traps, light traps and sex pheromone traps, as well as some guidance bulletins on greenhouses, date palms and pest control methods.
3) Conduct seminars and lectures on agricultural pests and control methods in the regions in cooperation with the General Directorate of Agricultural Extension, including: a lecture on palm pests held in MEWA's branch in the province of Quwaiya, a lecture on the date palm dust mite in Sanam center, Al-'Uyayna and Thadik, a seminar on the Tuta absoluta in the province of Bisha, a lecture on palm pests in Turbah province in Taif, and a lecture on the integrated pest control of palm pests in Al-Jouf, Tabarjal and Dumat Al-Jandal.
4) Participate with a FAO's team to observe the work that has done in the crop protection and organize a field visit to some farms in the province of Al-Kharj on 13/2/1438AH (13/11/2016).
5) Participate with team members from this Division and the National Agriculture & Animal Resources Research Center of the Ministry of Agriculture to visit some drought-hit fruit farms in the province of Al-Aflaj.
6) Participation in the training program held by the project for developing organic agriculture in one of the organic farms in Al-Kharj on 23/2/1438AH (23/11/2016).
7) Training of farmers, technicians and workers:
a) Training 11 farmers in coordination with the Directorate of Agriculture in Al-Kharj Governorate in Al-Haytham, Al-Dhabiya and Naajan on biological control of Tuta absoluta using sexual pheromone-based control strategies, and distributing 600 traps on 16/2/1438 AH(16/11/2016).
b) Training 5 farmers on Mechanical pest control in cooperation with the Directorate of Agriculture in the province of Al-Kharj at Al-Dhubaiyah center, and distributing 300 coloured traps on 12/3/1438AH(11/12/2016).
c) Training 6 farmers on biological control of Aphids by releasing parasites in coordination with the Directorate of Agriculture in the province of Shaqra, MEWA's branch of agriculture in Sajir and Huraymila on 20-24/3/1438AH (19-23/12/2016).
d) Training 10 farmers on biological control by releasing natural enemies (predators and parasites) at Al-Haytham and Al-Dhubaiyah center.
e) Training 5 farmers and technicians in Al-Ahsa on the method of pollination of tomatoes by bumble bees in air-conditioned greenhouses on 20/4/1438AH (18/1/2017).
4. Agricultural Pest Control Inputs:
A- Securing and distributing 90 tons of agricultural pesticides and 200 pesticide sprayers with different capacities and allocating funds for fuel, equipment and spare parts to the general departments of agriculture affairs in the regions and agricultural directorates in provinces.
B- Participating with the Directorate of Agriculture in Al-Kharj Governorate in distributing 10,000 coloured traps for whitefly and thrips control in Al-Kharj farms and training farms' workers, s well as cooperating with the MEWA's branch of agriculture in Al-Quwaiyah governorate in distributing 15,000 coloured traps for the control of the same pests in Tibark, Jilah and Al-Quwaiyah and training the workers.
C- Providing the Organic Agriculture Research Center in Al-Qassim with 6 boxes and equipment for augmentation of natural enemies and training the workers in the research center at Unayzah, and the biological control laboratory in the extension center for pilot farm in Al-Ahsa with 3 boxes of the same equipment and training the workers.
D - Participation with the General Directorate of Agriculture Affairs in Jazan region in the biological control of Opuntia Stricta, through technical and financial support to the General Directorate of Agriculture Affairs in Jazan region and its branches and the Agricultural Research Center in Jazan.