The Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, is taking steps to encourage research and development in the agricultural sector. These initiatives are aimed at improving food security by developing new crop varieties, pest-resistant plants, and sustainable farming practices.
According to Ministry officials, a key initiative is the Oman Seed Bank, designed to collect and preserve seeds of local crops, which can be used to develop new varieties that are better suited to the Omani environment. The bank also provides seeds to farmers, helping them to improve their yields.
Another initiative is the Oman Plant Protection Center, which specializes in conducting research on pests and diseases that affect crops, and develops strategies to control them. The center also provides training to farmers on pest management techniques.
The government is also investing in research on sustainable farming practices. For example, the Oman Agricultural Research Center is developing new irrigation techniques that can help to conserve water. The center is also working on developing drought-resistant crops.
These initiatives are part of the government's efforts to ensure food security in Oman, an official source told the Observer. By investing in research and development, the government is helping to develop the agricultural sector and make it more resilient to challenges such as climate change.
Other specific initiatives that are being implemented:
• Establishment of small and medium enterprises in the field of manufacturing local (Omani) medicinal and aromatic plants: This initiative will help to promote the use of local medicinal and aromatic plants, which can be used to improve health and well-being.
• Introduction of modern technologies that contribute to reducing the consumption of water and fertilizers, such as soilless cultivation and aquaponics: These technologies can help to improve the efficiency of agricultural production and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture.
• Use of renewable energy (solar energy) in the management and operation of net houses: This can help to reduce the cost of agricultural production and make it more sustainable.
At the same time, the Omani government continues to benefit from international partnerships and cooperation to enhance food security. These partnerships are helping the country to exchange best practices, access new markets, and develop new technologies.
One of the key partnerships is with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The FAO provides technical assistance in a number of areas, including: Developing fish marketing systems; Improving the infrastructure of fish markets; Developing legislation and laws for the marketing, preservation, and export of fish products; Managing fish control systems; and Promoting fish processing.
The FAO is also helping Oman to open new markets for its fish products. In recent years, Oman has opened new markets in Russia, Vietnam, and Brazil. The country is also working to open a market in China.