Kabeer Yousuf -
Dec 8: Oman is seriously considering various options of agro industrialisation, sustainable agriculture and development of meat, milk, poultry and fisheries industries, according to Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Dr Fuad bin Jaafar al Sajwani.
Speaking to experts from across the globe on food security, sustainable development and agriculture at the International Food Security, Agriculture, Sustainability and Pulses Conference here, the minister said the country “supports the idea of agro-industrialisation and is actively considering options”.
A study on how camel meat can be a contributor to food security in Oman was presented by an assistant professor from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). The study was carried out by Dr Mohammed Ali al Abri.
Dr Amani al Rawahi, chairperson of the conference organising committee, said that 2016 has been declared as the ‘Year of Pulses’ by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO-UN). “We have accorded priority for pulses in human nutrition, antioxidants/anti-inflammatory and anti-genotoxic effects of pulses and their role in treating human ailments,” said Dr Al Rawahi.
“We have come out with some recommendations on the utilisation of pulses in Oman.” The conference focused on the economic importance and commercial harvesting of pulses.
A detailed food security road map for the Sultanate was presented by Salem Amour al Shanfari, CEO, Oman Investment Holding and Agriculture Sustainability. It was addressed by Dr Rashid al Yahyai, Dean, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences.
Magy Habib, Special Ambassador for International Year of Pulses, FAO-UN, explained the benefits of pulses. Dr Stoffer Loman from Nutriclaim Netherlands, explained the health and nutritional benefits of pulses.
Senior government officials, agro food industry CEOs and researchers presented papers and best global practices from around the world. Speakers included those from the Netherlands, UK, Australia, Malaysia, India and Oman. Experts discussed how Oman can create a ‘food secure nation’. Key crops for Oman other than dates — pomegranate and pulses — were also discussed.