By Staff Reporter — MUSCAT: May 17 – The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries produced 177,456 fruit seedlings last year, a record in young plants’ production. The saplings were distributed to farmers. The Directorate General of Agriculture and Livestock Research makes efforts to increase production of certain crops with perfect genetic characteristics. The ministry has five plant nurseries in Suhar, Barka, Salalah, Al Kamil W’al Wafi, and one in Jemah, in which fruits such as local lemon, mango, orange, sidir (Christ’s thorn), banana, fig, mandarin, white and red grapefruit, sugar apple and papaya are produced every year. However, the growth of crops differs from one nursery to another depending on the climate.
In 2016, these nurseries produced 111,500 lemon seedlings, 4,331 oranges, 31,500 mangoes, 5,000 sidir and 3,500 Eureka lemons. Officials at the ministry said the plant nurseries are seeing a continuous growth as a result of the government support and efforts of workers and supervisors. High production indicates an increasing demand for seedlings from farmers. There are three types of arboretums or gardens in the Sultanate; public, private and commercial. Public nurseries are established and controlled by the government for supplying public gardens with the required plants. Private nurseries are relatively small and are found inside private properties and limited zones. Commercial arboretums are set up for business objectives and they have farms that produce crops in huge quantity.