An Omani farmer has managed to produce 38 tonnes of tomatoes on a daily basis at his farm in the wilayat of Mussanah in South Batinah governorate.
Khalid Salem al Buaiqi cultivated tomatoes on 32 acres of land this season and his harvest was deemed the highest among his fellow farmers.
The idea of planting Omani tomatoes emerged following Buaiqi’s interactions with the Omani Agricultural Association specialists who recommended diversification of crops with the aim of increasing food security in keeping with most countries’ efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
“I started in 2007 with the main goal of diversifying income sources through investing in a number of farms in Mussanah. I have followed experts’ recommendations regarding the expansion and diversification of crop production to boost food security which has become a key goal for countries that target to achieve self-sufficiency in domestic crops,” Buaiqi said.
“I grew tomatoes on three acres in the first year just to know about the crop. I had to understand all the agricultural and market requirements of the crop, starting with planting of seeds right through to harvesting and delivery to markets. Now we cultivate 32 acres for eight months a year. Our daily production is around 38 tonnes.”
Tomatoes from Buaiqi’s farms are sold in local markets, besides being exported to neighbouring countries like the UAE.
“We grow other vegetable crops as well, including four types of peppers – red, orange, green and yellow. We are currently working on greenhouses in our farm. We rely on modern agriculture methods, such as drip irrigation. These reduce effort, time and labour.”
Buaiqi said he wants to thank the Omani Agricultural Association for its supports and for conducting meetings among farmers to exchange experiences.
“Marketing our produce is a big challenge. We also need some modern farming machines to increase agricultural areas. Oman can achieve self-sufficiency in agricultural produces easily by providing marketing support to farmers.”
Buaiqi plans to double the acreage in the next season.
“I call on jobseekers to work in agriculture. It is profitable.”