Dakhliyah farmer tastes viticulture success

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Muscat – The cultivation of vines in the governorate of Dakhliyah is about to write a new chapter of agricultural diversification with a farmer who tastes the success of his experiments.

Farmer Abdul Rahman Zaher al Abri from Bahla wilayat in Dakhliyah has grown grapes with 500 plants, with the vines now reaching 180cm.

Abri has been farming for 55 years, producing a diverse mix of crops on its 20 acres of land. He started cultivating the vines in 2021 and hopes it will be a profitable effort. “I started growing grapes for extra income,” Abri told Muscat Daily.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources provided 500 vine plants to Abri in December 2021 as part of a national project called model farms.

“I planted five types of grapes – Sultani, White Lebanese, Ashhab, Taifi and Omani Black – on one acre of land.”

About the challenges he faces in growing grapes, he said, “We have to deal with extreme heat, wind and drought. Although the placement of windbreaks has helped cope with high winds, extreme heat remains a major challenge in growing vines. »

When asked why he chose to grow grapes, Abri said he followed experts’ recommendations regarding crop expansion and diversification to enhance food security and self-sufficiency.

“Currently, I grow wheat, onions, sugar cane, dates, okra and black-eyed peas, in addition to grapes. I plant 45 varieties of dates.

The new venture, which enjoys the active support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources and experts, has become the obsession of Abri.

“The ministry facilitated an integrated program to help us choose the right land, equipping it with a modern irrigation system and using organic fertilizers,” he explained.

Although he gained vast experience and knowledge from more than five decades of farming, to learn modern methods, Abri visited several countries.

“Today, farmers in the Sultanate grow a wide variety of fruits throughout the year.”

Urging job seekers to work in agriculture, he said, “It is profitable work. We must not leave this work to expatriate workers. Our land is a treasure for future generations. Many countries depend on agriculture as their main source of income.

Abri said he hopes the relevant authorities will help increase wheat cultivation to achieve food self-sufficiency and provide land for those who wish to engage in agriculture, especially in Salalah.

In July 2021, Oman Investment Authority (OIA) announced the establishment of an integrated company specializing in the production of high quality vegetables and fruits and the marketing of local products nationally and internationally.

The project aims to establish model farms across Oman based on comparative advantage, diversity of weather conditions and suitable environments for growing various crops.

The project is part of a close and fruitful cooperation between the OIA and the ministry with the aim of encouraging Omani farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises to market their products internally and abroad. of the sultanate.

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