Olives bring cheer to Jabal Akhdhar farmers

JABAL AKHDHAR: The olive season of last year in Jabal Akhdhar witnessed good production, bringing remunerative returns for farmers from the amounts of olive and the oil extracted at government and private presses. The production reached around 60 tonnes and the amount of oil extracted stood at 8028 litres, which fetched RO160,000 last year.
The olive harvest for this season began in mid-August and continued until December. The best period was October and November, as it turned out that the percentage of oil rose during this period. The increase in the number of olive trees and the care that farmers give them highlight the fact that the olive cultivation is rewarding, besides other fruit trees in Jabal Akhdhar.
The statistics currently available at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries indicate that the number of olive trees in Jabal Akhdhar is 15,000. During this season, some of the well-known varieties that were extracted in the Extraction Unit in the Niyabat of Jabal Akhdhar were evaluated, including Maraqi and Krotina, as well as Al Dan, Arbequina and Picholine.
The olive tree has proved its adaptation to the harsh dry climate and paid off with a high quality harvest. This season witnessed an increase in the crop over the past years.
The olive tree, considered one of the perennial trees of the olive family, is evergreen. It is found in large areas in the Niyabat of Jabal Akhdhar.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has begun bringing olive seedlings from outside the Sultanate and has distributed the finest types of olive from the oil-producing varieties. Its cultivation in Jabal Akhdhar has been a resounding success. Now its cultivation has spread to a large extent. The farmers here have become dependent on it as an economic source. The ministry has provided the Agricultural Development Department with advanced presses.
Trees in general have a big role in making the environment clean and healthy, in addition to adding aesthetic value to residential areas and public places, including parks, houses and mosques.
Also, the culture of oil consumption has changed and shifted to the consumption of pure olive oil for health reasons. The coming years will witness more production in the sector due to the interest shown by the citizens as well as the government. — ONA