More than 300,000 date palms planted to improve food security
Times News Service
MUSCAT: Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has planted more than 300,000 date palm saplings over a five-year period, in an attempt to improve the security of the Sultanate’s food chain.
In all, 324,451 date palm saplings were planted at the Sultanate’s Agro Textile Centre between 2013 and 2018, with a special focus on eight particular types of palm seedlings. According to a report published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the cultivated varieties include Al Fard, of which 187,275 seedlings were planted, Al Zahira Khalas, with 72,714 seedlings, Fahal Al Khuri with 14.264 seedlings, Al Majhul, with 13.243 seedlings and Fahal Bihulani, of which 12.860 seedlings were planted.
In addition, 7,334 seedlings were planted in Falmab Siliu, 4,883 Bonnarge Palm and 7,184 seedlings of the Khalas Oman palm were also planted, along with an additional 7,184 seedlings of different varieties. According to a study published in the European Scientific Journal in 2017, “Some application of agro-textiles products have shown great outcomes and have had positive impacts on the growth and production of various crops and vegetables.”
In addition, a study entitled, ‘Significance of Agro-Textiles and Future Prospects in Bangladesh’, by Mohammed Abdullah al Faruque, among others, has shown that agro-textiles can save energy in greenhouses, improve yields, and lower the wastage of vegetables and fruits.
Palm trees in the Sultanate constitute 78 per cent of all crop and agricultural production, making up 35 per cent of the total agricultural area in the country.
Additionally, 7.6 million date palms have been planted in some 57,429 acres, while more than 900,000 palm trees have been planted along private houses.