Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed a cooperation agreement to the start of institutional and research cooperation between them.
Dr Rahma bint Ibrahim al Mahrouqi, SQU Assistant Vice- Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research, and Nora Ourbah Haddad, FAO representative in the Sultanate, signed the agreement.
Dr Rahma says the agreement includes the assessment of the current status of the agricultural and fisheries organisations in the Sultanate to strengthen their capacities. This regional project includes three countries namely Sultanate, Sudan and Lebanon and the pact is for the Sultanate only which will pave the way for further partnership between the two sides. Among the activities are survey and research on agriculture and food security, with the organisation of workshops aimed at discussing ways to support agricultural communities and preparing various reports on small-scale farming households, their means of support and assessment of their performance.
Nora Ourbah said: “The duration of this agreement is two years and the role of the university is to cooperate with the organisation to conduct the survey and study in order to assess the current situation of agricultural and fisheries organisations and associations, evaluate the status of programmes and laws in the Sultanate, capacity-building of those entities and developing plans for further development. Faculty and students of Agricultural and Marine Sciences College participate in the project. There are three professors of the Department of Natural Resources Economics of this college and hope that the Omani society benefit from this project for the development of small holdings. This agreement with the university is important to FAO and we hope to do more projects.”