In a move to achieve growth in agriculture and self-sufficiency, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources has begun building three hydroponic greenhouses in Musandam governorate.
In hydroponic agriculture, farmers are able to grow crops in a controlled environment. This allows them to extend cropping into higher priced periods or grow crops that are not normally suited to a particular climate. A key aspect to this is being able to maintain a stable root zone temperature that promotes healthy growth and oxygen retention within the nutrient solution.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, an official said, “The ministry has started building three hydroponic greenhouses with cooling systems in the Lima area in the wilayat of Khasab in Musandam governorate. These greenhouses are part of the Integrated Farming Project in Lima. The project aims to grow various vegetable crops such as cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and zucchini among others.”
In another development, the official informed that the ministry is working with the Oman Food Investment Holding Co to establish an integrated project to plant coconut trees on the ministry’s land in the Arzat area in the wilayat of Salalah.
The project includes planting 50,000 coconut trees, establishing an integrated unit for processing coconuts, and recreational tourism activities in the area surrounding the project.
Additionally, the ministry recently signed an agreement with the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Company to lease 100 acres and to invest in and implement a smart agriculture project in the wilayat of Al Kamil W’Al Wafi in South Sharqiyah.
“The RO6.5mn project aims to increase productivity of crops, extend production seasons, and raise the quality and safety of local production. The project consists of greenhouses, shade houses, soilless farming techniques, open field cultivation techniques, mechanisation, modern irrigation networks, a wireless agricultural meteorological station, warehouses, production sorting and processing facilities, etc,” the official said.
As per the official, the ministry is currently implementing model fields for plantation of lemon, mango and date palm trees in various governorates. The project targets setting up organised farms of minimum five acres and is aimed at boosting the produce of mango, lemon and date palm trees.
The ministry supports farmers by distributing quality seedlings of mango, lemon and date palm in coordination with authorities in various governorates. A total of 73,000 date palm seedlings were cultivated in 2020-21 on 120 acres of land and 26 farmers benefited in the first phase. These farms are expected to produce 370 tonnes of dates worth RO365,000.
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