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Omani student innovation saves date crop from damage

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MUSCAT: Tala, a students’ company affiliated to the National University of Science and Technology, succeeded in devising an environmentally friendly bag made from natural waste that contributed to the solution for the problem of damage to the date crop.

The bag, which includes fish scales and palm waste, provides appropriate conditions for the growth of the fruit. Zubaida bint Hamoud al Ma’amari told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the conservation bag was developed after an observed decline in the production of dates in Oman in recent years.

"We worked together to study the problem, search for its causes and find appropriate solutions,” she said.

She added that this solution will benefit the families whose income is based on the date crop. The company is working on a future plan to expand the system of crop conservation to cover other products in the agricultural sector in general, said Zubaida.

It is considering applications to improve the growth of vegetable and fruit crops, including methods of storing them for longer periods, she explained.

The company developed a marketing plan to promote the product (the conservation bag) by all available means, in addition to participating in specialised exhibitions.

The company's student team includes Wadha bint Ahmed al Mahrouqi, Zubaida bint Hamoud al Ma’amari, Abdullah bin Jamal al Balushi, Shaimaa bint Ahmed al Dughaishi, Fouad bin Khamis al Farsi, Nadira bint Ali al Zakwani, Aisha bint Khalifa al Shukaili and Sultan bin Abdullah al Hadhrami. - ONA

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