Grape cultivation thrives in Al Mudhaibi

AL MUDHAIBI: Al Rawdha village in the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi in the Governorate of North Al Sharqiyah is unique in the diversity of agricultural crops, the fertility of soil and the abundance of water throughout the year.

Thanks to these features, agriculture has been given special attention by farmers. Besides the cultivation of date palm trees, citrus fruits, fodder and multiple types of fruit trees, grape cultivation stands out as one of the most important agricultural crops in the village.

Currently grape is abundant in the markets of the wilayat and neighbouring wilayats, achieving a great financial return for farmers, despite competition from imported grapes.

Eng Qais bin Amer al Maawali, Head of the Agricultural Development Section in  the Agricultural Development Department in Samad Al Shan, said, “The cultivated area of grape in Al Rawdha village is estimated at 13,000 square metres, and it produces about 14 tonnes, at a value of up to RO20,000 annually.”

In an interview with the Oman News Agency (ONA), he added, “There is a great interest in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in grape cultivation. The ministry provides materials and moral support to farmers, including seminars, improved seedlings, introducing farmers to modern agricultural methods, and promoting agricultural products”.

Sarhan bin Shatit al Habsi, grape farmer in Al Rawdha village, said, “The interest in growing grapes is continuously increasing. It receives significant attention from farmers and officials at various agricultural development sections in the wilayat. This is noticed in recent years in the large agricultural areas where grapes are grown”.

The availability of fertile agricultural soils and fresh water whether from aflaj (ancient irrigation system) or wells in Al Rawdha village has contributed greatly to the success of the grape cultivation.

Attention is given to grape cultivation in the village from the beginning of the season until the date of harvest, including continuous irrigation, fertilisation, pruning, creating an appropriate environment, protection against agricultural pests and using modern agricultural methods.

Al Habsi indicated that there are many types of grapes including black, white, and Lebanese, which achieve outstanding success in cultivation and quality. Harvesting of grapes in the village starts from June and ends at the end of August. The price per kilogram of grape during this period reaches approximately RO1 to RO1.5, and the prices go up at the end of the season. Grapes are sold in the neighbouring markets and sometimes it is sold directly in the farm. The prices of grapes are appropriate due to its high quality.

Farmers in Al Rawdha village are interested in cultivating many other agricultural crops that have been successful, including figs, oranges, and mangoes. They aspire to introduce other various agricultural crops in order to diversify production throughout the year.

There is continuous monitoring and guidance by the farmers themselves in the management of farms, especially those with experience. They also follow the  guidelines being given by technical experts in the agricultural development sections on the use of modern agricultural methods and selection of crops. – ONA