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Efforts on to ensure wheat stocks

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Allaying concerns about the availability of wheat in the market, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion confirmed that the Sultanate of Oman is taking all possible steps to ensure sufficient stocks.

This affirmation came from Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, during his meeting on Friday with merchants and entrepreneurs in the Wilayat of Muttrah.

"There are sufficient stocks of wheat, and the ministry has taken all necessary steps to ensure that it is available during the coming period," he said.

The minister said that the government of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik pays great attention to ameliorate the concerns arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic and the break in the supply chain.

"All possible measures are being taken to solve the damage caused to the economy in general and dealers and suppliers in particular," he said during his meeting.

After a break in supply from Russia following its war with Ukraine, the Sultanate of Oman had signed agreements with three countries, including India and Australia, to import 160,000 tonnes of wheat.

But India, the world's second-biggest wheat producer, last week banned wheat exports as a scorching heatwave in major wheat-growing states curtailed output, and domestic prices hit a record high.

Still, reports quoting Indian government officials indicate that the country may allow exports backed by already issued letters of credit and to countries that request supplies "to meet their food security needs."

"About a dozen countries have reached out to the Ministry of External Affairs, seeking clarification on whether their requests for Indian wheat would be fulfilled," the official was quoted as saying, adding, "the government kept open the option to export wheat as a tool of economic diplomacy".

The total area of land planted with wheat in the 2020-2021 season in the Sultanate of Oman, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Water Resources, stood at 2,449 acres and produced 2,649 tonnes of wheat crop.

The meeting was attended by Mohsen bin Khamis al Balushi, Adviser at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, Mohammed bin Ahmed al Busaidi, Deputy Wali of Muttrah, and members of the Majlis Ash'shura and members of the Municipal Council.

Omanis in Muttrah Souq

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef said that the ministry favoured Omani nationals running the bustling Muttrah Souq as is being done elsewhere in the traditional markets in the Sultanate of Oman.

"The ministry believes that the shops in the historic Muttrah market should be run by citizens, just like in the rest of the traditional markets like the Nizwa Market in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate," he said.

Since ancient times, the traditional marketplaces in the Sultanate of Oman have been much more than a place to do trade. In addition to being places for social gatherings, the souqs are the top tourist spots as well.

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