One Million Date Palm Project to boost food security

SALALAH, March 6 – Two major date palm farms, which are located in Dhofar Governorate and are part of the ‘One Million Date Palm Project’, are doing well. The governorate is home to two farms — one is located in Marmul in the Wilayat of Shalim, while the other is in Al Najd Farm. The farm located in Marmul has a capacity 55,000 date palms besides accommodation for horses and other palm varieties. Al Najd Farm can accommodate 100,000 palms. Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar, reviewed the project’s progress along with a large number of dignitaries and senior government officials.

These two farms are major plantation sites among 11 date palms farms under the project spread in different parts of the Sultanate. These farms are equipped with the latest technology of irrigation and plant protection devices. The governor appreciated the progress of both the farms and said: “They are very important for the country’s food security and most importantly the high importance given by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos for the project.” “The project is part of our food security strategy aimed at achieving self-sufficiency. It is important for our national heritage and culture as well,” he said.

At the end of the tour, Al Busaidy expressed happiness over the progress of the project in Dhofar, and said that the upcoming agriculture oasis was aimed at achieving economic and social gains. “Achieving self-sufficiency is important along with enhancing the country’s value addition.” Dr Saif bin Rashid al Shiksi, Director-General of One Million Date Palm Project, highlighted the projects objectives and its contribution in the fields of agriculture, food security, environment and its possible emergence as a major investment opportunity.

Agriculture scientists, project engineers and officials involved in the project made video presentations, which highlighted the importance of organic farming as well as technical and research aspects of the project. The challenge in front of them is to protect the palm trees from diseases and the use of best of the technologies to develop the farm and enhance palm productivity. The presentation also highlighted the economic and industrial aspects of the project and its contribution in the national economy. A film on plantation and challenge of achieving the goal of one million date palm evoked interest from visitors.