MUSCAT, Sept 20
Wheat production in the Sultanate grew 19 per cent to reach 2,649 tonnes during the 2020-2021 agricultural season, compared with corresponding figures for the previous year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Water Resources.
Acreage under wheat cultivation also jumped 19.6 per cent to 2,449 acres, while the number of farmers engaged in the crop increased by 5.5 per cent, it said.
Al Dakhiliyah Governorate accounted for 45 per cent (1,109 areas) of the total area under wheat cultivation, and produced 55 per cent (1,465.6 tonnes) of the total output. A'Dhahirah Governorate came next with 576.5 acres under cultivation and 650 tons of output. In third place was Dhofar Governorate with 360 tonnes of production, followed by the Governorates of North and South Al Batinah with a combined output of 83.6 tonnes.
A further 89.8 tonnes of wheat came from different governorates.
Wheat production average 1.1 tonnes per acre during the past two seasons.
In a wilayat-wise breakdown, Bahla topped the list with a total output of 710 tonnes (and a cultivated area of 445.6 acres), followed by Ibri with 437 tonnes (363 acres under cultivation) and Thamrait with 360 tonnes ons (and 537.6 acres under cultivation).
Wheat cultivation was also reported in Nizwa (287 tonnes / 225 acres) and Manah (239 tonnes / 225.8 acres).
In a statement, the Ministry said it accords great attention to enhancing the wheat crop in cooperation with many international, regional and local organizations and research centres through research and guiding programmes to develop local wheat cultivars and import others to be tested in the Sultanate.
The Directorate General for Agricultural and Animal Research has prioritised the development of new cultivars that are resistant to environmental challenges, such as heat and plant pathogens to cover the production gap, as well as finding solutions for genetic deterioration resulting from repeated cultivation.
(With inputs from ONA)