Rising production costs in the agricultural sector, a brake on growth: OAA Secy

He added that some Omani farmers resort to growing grass instead of crops because the cost of growing it is lower.

Abdul Malik al Hinai, economic analyst, said that “the agricultural sector cannot develop given the increase in direct or indirect production costs” and “the absence of clear mechanisms for the marketing of agricultural products”.

“The agricultural sector in many countries receives great support from the government because of its strategic importance,” he said.

“Some people talk about expatriate workers in this sector, and the competition of imported products with local products. I believe that the growth of the agricultural sector does not depend on the reduction of expatriate workers and the reduction of imports from abroad, as this will increase the cost to the consumer. The development of agriculture involves reducing production costs and supporting the sector.

Khalid al Salihi, a citizen, said: “I believe that the use of modern technology in agriculture and harvesting methods, modern irrigation systems and reducing the electricity bill will help to significantly reduce the costs.

Abdul Karim al Hinai said the country needs food industries capable of purchasing agricultural products and processing them into products with a longer shelf life. “Most agricultural products face the problem of shelf life after harvest, especially vegetables and fruits. “

Another citizen, Nasser al Hosni, said he believed the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources should put in place a mechanism to help Omani farmers produce more than 160,000 tonnes of wheat. per year to achieve self-sufficiency and encourage Omani businesses to purchase Omani crops.

Last week, the Majlis A’Shura Services and Social Development Committee held a meeting to discuss reducing electricity tariffs for the agricultural sector.

MAFWR to organize forum to support farmers

As part of its efforts to support farmers and ranchers, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) will hold their second forum on December 16.

It will be held at the headquarters of the OCCI branch in North Sharqiyah Governorate under the auspices of HE Dr Ahmed Nasser al Bakri, Deputy Secretary of MAFWR.

Ali bin Salim al Hajri, vice president of financial and administrative affairs of the OCCI branch in North Sharqiyah, said this year’s forum is entitled “Agricultural marketing and post-harvest operations”.

The forum aims to disseminate the culture of agricultural work among young people and to exchange experiences between farmers, agricultural engineers and breeders to imagine modern solutions for agricultural and animal marketing.

The forum will bring together specialists from the agriculture and livestock sector, in addition to representatives of government and private agencies and community members who have projects in the agriculture and livestock sectors.

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Lana T. Arthur