Realising the potential of digital technology in bridging the gap between farmers and customers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries(MoFA) has started e-auction for selling dates and date palms. The ministry has already backed online auction and marketing for livestock as well as honey.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, an official at MoAF said, “The ministry is organising and supporting many online services to help individuals, farmers and livestock keepers to buy and sell over the Internet so as to reduce the economic impact of COVID-19. The ministry will hold an e-auction for selling date palms through the website www.mazad.om. The e-auction will run in wilayats of Nizwa, Barka, Bahla, Al Kamil Wal Wafi and Sohar. The online auction will be for five days from June 28 to July 2 from 6am to 10pm.”
“According to MoAF statistics, the sultanate produced 377,000 tonnes of dates in 2019, 369,000 tonnes in 2018, 361,000 tonnes in 2017, and 355,000 tonnes in 2016,” the official said.
He added, “The ministry will also hold the 14th Omani Honey Market online, from June 28 to July 4, called ‘Shahed’, to be launched in cooperation with Riyadh Digital company. The goal of this market is to popularise Omani agricultural products, reach out to foreign markets and open up new markets. Around 36 beekeepers from different parts of the sultanate will participate in this e-market.
Talking about selling livestock, he said the ministry’s in cooperation with the Tharwa platform, carried out field visits to animal pens in the wilayat of Bidiyah in North Sharqiyah to meet with livestock breeders to introduce them to the Tharwa platform and explain the e-marketing mechanism. “Tharwa, an online platform, serves as a virtual marketplace for suppliers and distributors of all kinds of fresh and processed meat to offer their products to consumers.”
“The platform works on organising and marketing the supply and demand process in the domestic and imported meat sector. The platform also provides a communication channel between suppliers and consumers in the retail sector through its website www.tharwaoman.om.”
“Specialists from the ministry will continue to visit other wilayats to urge people to buy and sell through electronic platforms to limit the spread of the coronavirus and to reduce its economic impact,” said the official.