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Ministry produces 200,000 fruit seedlings

14 Nov 2020 By MOHAMMED TAHA

As part of its efforts to achieve economic and social development, diversify sources of income, and improve food security in the sultanate, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources has produced around 200,000 date palm and various other fruit seedlings.

The ministry has already started distributing them, an official said.

Eng Badr bin Abdullah al Siyabi, assistant director general of the General Directorate of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources in Dakhliyah governorate, said the ministry is implementing a comprehensive package of policies and strategies that helps achieve economic and social development in the sultanate as well as create job opportunities to ensure social stability and improve the livelihood of workers in the agricultural sector.

“The strategy aims to pay attention to agricultural lands and preserve their fertility, introduce modern irrigation systems with the optimal use of aflaj water and benefit from salty water in cultivating crops,” said Eng Siyabi.

It also looks at ways to use triple-treated wastewater in irrigation of crops and expand production and distribution of offshoots from date palm and various fruit seedlings, he said.

He said the ministry has implemented several programmes to help farmers. They include pest control programmes, awareness drives about soil erosion, desertification and removal of harmful trees and programmes related to honey production and livestock.

He explained that the date palm cultivation is the largest agricultural activity in the sultanate covering 35 per cent of the total cultivated land and 78 per cent of the total fruit cultivation. The 2012/13 agricultural census said there were 7.6mn palm trees on an area exceeding 57,000 acres.

Eng Ibrahim bin Yaqoub al Numani, assistant director general for Planning and Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, said the ministry is making efforts to implement investment plans and projects in coordination with the private sector to raise food production and pay attention to marketing and manufacturing.

He said, “Agricultural production plays an active role in the development and stability of the rural community. The number of Omanis and their families who own agricultural holdings has reached about 255,000.”

He explained that the total agricultural, animal and fish production constituted 3.9mn tonnes in 2019.

 

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