Muscat – As part of its efforts to diversify agricultural crops and achieve self-sufficiency in food, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) has introduced turmeric farming in Dhofar governorate.
An official at the ministry informed that the Directorate General of Agricultural, Fisheries and Water Resources in Dhofar has started implementing the first phase of the turmeric cultivation project in the governorate, with the support of the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Fund.
“The project, in its first phase, targets 60 farmers in 12 villages in the wilayats of Salalah, Taqah, Dhalkhut and Rakhyut. The target is to grow the turmeric crop on seven acres of land and establish a genetic bank for it.”
Turmeric, a plant in the ginger family, is native to Southeast Asia and is grown commercially in the region, primarily in India. Its rhizome (underground stem) is used as a culinary spice and traditional medicine.
Under the project, the ministry will provide farmers a modern irrigation system, and follow up on the stages of its cultivation by deploying agricultural teams.
“The project aims to motivate and encourage farmers to grow turmeric in Dhofar. Turmeric crops are known for their economic value and health benefits. It has a high local demand as well as export potential,” said the official.
The official also said that the ministry is conducting a survey to measure the areas under cultivation for various produces – vegetables, field crops and perennial fodder across the sultanate.
“The project aims to provide data and estimate the volume of agricultural production and indicators of self-sufficiency; besides assessing the contribution of the agricultural sector to the gross domestic product of the sultanate.”