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Durham University (1984)

Agriculture in al-hassa oasis, Saudi Arabia : a review of development

Al-Jabr, Mohammed A.

Titre  : Agriculture in al-hassa oasis, Saudi Arabia : a review of development

Auteur : Al-Jabr, Mohammed A.

Université de soutenance : Durham University

Grade : Master of Arts 1984

Al-Hassa oasis is the oldest and largest agricultural area in Saudi Arabia, its establishment and expansion being due to the enormous reserves of groundwater. Irrigated farming methods which developed over centuries continued relatively unchanged until recently. Traditional subsistence farming faced increasing pressure in the early 1950’s from three forces. Shifting sands continued encroaching on farmland and villages, the lack of efficient groundwater irrigation distribution, and drainage resulted in increasing soil salinity and waterlogging, and economic and social changes, regional and national, brought about by the oil boom. The latter changes radically altered the relative status of agriculture. These factors are studied in the context of their physical setting, including climate, topography, geology, soils and hydrology, which affect not only traditional farming, but also any modern developments in agriculture in the oasis. In the late 1960’s the sand stabilization and irrigation and drainage projects were begun, and their objectives and effects on al-Hassa ocasis are discussed. These projects together with national governmental financial incentives have created eventually a significant but not complete response from farmers. The difficulties of changing established rural systems appear greater than those of developing new land by new entrepreneurs. Similarly the success in improving the use of land and water resource has been less than hoped but nevertheless very significant


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