Ministry of Agriculture Delivers Transparent End-to-End e-Services to Customers within Hours to Support Saudi Arabia’s Thriving Agricultural Sector
 
 

Ministry of Agriculture Delivers Transparent End-to-End e-Services to Customers within Hours to Support Saudi Arabia’s Thriving Agricultural Sector

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the implementation of all aspects of the country’s agricultural policy and production (whether plant, animal or fishery) as well as its input and output. The ministry takes direct responsibility for irrigation and drainage projects when they are beyond the means of local farming communities and, through the country’s Arable Land Distribution Scheme, identifies land suitable for agricultural development. The ministry implements agricultural plans and programs and is responsible for animal resources, fisheries, grain silos, and locust control.

The agricultural sector in Saudi Arabia has achieved numerous positive indicators that have contributed to the enhancement of the national economy as well as to food security and sustainable rural development. However, due to the scarcity of some natural resources, in particular water, the ministry is encouraging agricultural production that consumes less water—such as in greenhouses, poultry farms and fisheries. Today, Saudi Arabia exports dates, dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, and flowers to markets around the world. Dates, once a staple of the Saudi diet, are now mainly grown for global humanitarian aid.

The private sector has played a major role in Saudi Arabia’s agricultural development. This is mostly due to government programs monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture that offer long-term interest-free loans, technical and support services, and incentives such as free seeds and fertilizers, low-cost fuel and electricity, and duty-free imports of raw materials and machinery.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Ministry of Agriculture

  • “The new e-government platform which the Ministry of Agriculture uses to offer online services to the public eliminates the need for companies and citizens to go to offices, stand in line, and fill in paper forms. It helped the ministry deliver an outstanding user experience while freeing specialized staff for field inspections. The average approval rate for applications submitted through the e-services portal is above 95%, which demonstrates its ease of use.” – Fahad Alomani, Director of Information Systems, Ministry of Agriculture

  • Establish a robust platform to provide various e-services to citizens and businesses, such as registration of new agricultural lots or permits for importing or exporting plants, seeds, and fertilizers
  • Enhance operational efficiency and reduce costs by replacing manual procedures with automated business processes, thusreducing the need for citizens to go to the ministry’s offices, fill in paper forms, and return to collect approvals
  • Enhance content publishing and distribution capabilities by using a portal that the ministry’s employees can easily populate, for example with current average processing time of procedures, or documents to be submitted for each type of request
  • Increase service transparency and mitigate risks such as manual errors and fraudulent applications by enabling companies, citizens, and government agencies to track requests and authorizations at all stages and see case modifications instantly
  • Integrate the solution with other Saudi Arabian government agencies such as Ministry of Commerce to reduce the time and effort required to complete application prerequisites—for example by being able to rapidly determine the existence and reputation of a company registering with the Ministry of Agriculture

Solutions

  • Established an integrated multi-channel platform to manage the ministry’s automated end-to-end service offerings for the public—such as agricultural machinery registration and labor recruitment support—by deploying Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Oracle’s Siebel Public Sector eService
  • Launched 22 e-services such as land registration, organic crop certification, and fishing and hunting permits for more than 65,000 portal users, and anticipated the launch of another 28 e-services within months
  • Reduced time to process applications from several months to just a few days thanks to automated business processes—optimizing service delivery and operation monitoring, adding transparency to workflows, and eliminating bottlenecks and delays
  • Reduced the operational costs associated with processing farm registrations, awarding fertilizer import permits and other citizen services by 75%—needing only three full-time employees to run the e-services portal and freeing up nine employees for field work such as market and warehouse inspections
  • Made it easy for staff to build new applications with minimal IT knowledge by equipping the ministry with a wide range of plug-and-play products, tools, and services available on Oracle WebLogic Suite
  • Helped the ministry to better manage customers and transactions by unifying user profiles with Oracle Enterprise Single Sign-On Suite Plus, to include process information and transactional data about land plot registrations, agricultural locations and machinery, pesticides, and live animals in a single interface
  • Deployed Oracle SOA Suite for Oracle Middleware 12c to easily connect services developed by different directorates with external systems—such as Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Ministry of Labor portals—boosting cooperation among government agencies to the benefit of Saudi Arabia’s thriving agricultural sector
  • Integrated the portal seamlessly with wikis, rich site summary (RSS), and blogs—empowering more than half a million portal visitors to find information faster and stay up-to-date with the ministry’s policies and news
  • Received and processed more than 18,500 applications for services such as land registration or ground water extraction permits via the portal—achieving an approval rate of over 95% and saving both citizens’ and ministry employees’ time and efforts
  • Streamlined the provision of public services to citizens, businesses, and government entities via a secure, reliable, and information-rich portal by using Oracle Policy Modeling and Oracle Policy Automation to standardize procedures
  • Safeguarded portal customers’ personal data by storing them securely on Oracle Database, Enterprise Edition to prevent loss, compromise, or unauthorized disclosure

Why Oracle

“The agricultural sector in Saudi Arabia has seen rapid development over the years, leading to a significant rise in the agricultural gross domestic product. Oracle provided us with a reliable development platform to scale for the future as we rapidly expand our public services,” said Fahad Alomani, director of information systems, Ministry of Agriculture.

Implementation Process

The deployment was executed in two phases, each containing different services according to the ministry’s business needs.

Phase one covered the portal and backend customer relationship management application in addition to 11 services that included plants and seed information, fertilizer and pesticide import or export permits, water extraction permits, agricultural machinery, equipment, and registration. Phase two covered 11 services including live animal registration, hatching eggs and chicks count, organic fresh food import and extraction permits, registration of agricultural locations, disclosure of agricultural infections, and labor recruitment support. In addition, the ministry launched sub-portals for each of its directorates.

Partner

“Oracle Partner Omnix International, a leading provider of IT solutions with a proven track record of successful Oracle implementations and a large team of Arabic speaking consultants, was chosen as a partner due to its proven understanding of our business requirements and implementation roadmap,” Alomani said.