Bisha (Arabic: بيشة, Bīšah), also known as Qal`at Bishah (Arabic: قلعة بيشة, Qalʿat Bīšah), is a town in the southwestern Saudi Arabian province, 'Asir. It is located at . Bisha has a population of 205,346 according to the 2010 Census. Before it was merged with 'Asir, it was a separate province. The city is located to the south of the Arabian Peninsula, which is almost entirely under the administration of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At an altitude of approximately 2,000 feet above sea level, it has nearly 240 villages and 58 larger settlements which are spread out on both sides of the Bisha Valley; the longest valley in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Bisha area is of immense agricultural importance due to high soil fertility, abundant water, and palm cultivation. There are about 3,000,000 palm and date trees of multiple varieties and their fruits are sold widely to cities in the Kingdom.
Bisha can be divided into the following agricultural areas:
- The plains area east of Wadi Bisha around King Fahad Dam, in "Bisha'at Bin Omair."
- The mountainous western section that includes part of the Sarawat Mountains and extends from the town perched in the North, to Qahta in the South.
The land around Bisha is mainly used for cultivating grapes and other fruits such as guava, mango and pomegranate. Grain and vegetable crops are also grown. Agriculture in Bisha is dependent on groundwater, and there are nearly 50,000 pumps to draw water from the ground for irrigation.
The area around Bisha is considered as fertile, and the soil type is yellow or light brown because of mud deposits in the valleys (e.g. Bisha, Tarj, Tabalah, Herjab) of the region.
The government of Saudi Arabia's strategic plan involves using a newly constructed dam to supply water to population centers rather than to irrigate farms. The Ministry of Agriculture and Water was concerned about the Bisha area's dependence on groundwater and initially decided to construct a dam in the Bisha Valley (Giant Dam King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz) to support agricultural activities in the region. However, due to the scarcity of clean drinking water, the dam output has been redirected for drinking purposes, resulting in a sharp decline of agricultural output.
- "Saudi Arabia: Bisha". Geohive.
- The Biggest Dam in the Kingdom: Splendid Arabia, An Online Guide to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia