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This article is about the Saudi Arabian city. For the disambiguation page, see Bisha, Saudi Arabia (disambiguation)
Bisha (Arabic: بيشة, Bīšah), also known as Qal`at Bishah (Arabic: قلعة بيشة, Qalʿat Bīšah) is a town in southwestern Saudi Arabia in 'Asir province. It is located at around . Bisha was a province until 1973 when it merged into Asir province and has become one of Asir's governances.
Geographically, Bisha is located in the northern part of the southern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is about 2,000 feet above sea level. Nearly 240 villages spread out on both sides of the Bisha valley, the longest valley in the Arabian Peninsula, and there are 58 urban centers for gatherings.
The Bisha area was agriculturally important due to soil fertility, abundant water and well known palm cultivation. There are now about three million palm trees and dates of multi-varieties that are sold to all cities in the Kingdom. However, the lack of rain has clearly reduced the number of palm trees in Bisha, and some researchers blame the government for the wrong strategic plan that involved building the huge dam to supply the city with water and allotting none for agriculture.
Bisha can be divided into two agricultural areas:
1 - The plains area east of Wadi Bisha around King Fahd Dam in " Bisha'at Bin Omair".
2 - The mountainous western section which includes part of the Sarawat Mountains and extends from the town perched in the north to Qahta in the south.
Most land around Bisha is cultivated for grapes. There are also various fruits: guava, mango and pomegranate, as well as grain and vegetables of all kinds. Agriculture in Bisha is dependent on groundwater, where there are nearly fifty thousand pumps to draw water for irrigation.
The area around Bisha is considered fertile and the soil type is yellow or light as a result of mud deposits in valleys of the region such as Bisha, Tarj, Tabalah and Herjab. The Ministry of Agriculture and Water was concerned about the Bisha area because of the Achtharha palm cultivation with many good varieties including Sefri, Shokol,Bedeerah, Barn and Almagafza, in addition to growing good grapes such as Taifi, and Alrazki, as well as the cultivation of grain types, fruits and vegetables. So the Ministry of Agriculture and Water decided to construct a dam in the Bisha valley (Giant Dam King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz) to support agricultural activity in this region. However, as a result of the lack of clean water for the population, the dam's purpose was changed to benefit the people rather than agriculture, and from then on Bisha agriculture started to lose hundreds of thousands of palm trees in one decade.
- The Biggest Dam in the Kingdom: Splendid Arabia, An Online Guide to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia