Renamed farmers association granted wider scope
The name and scope of Al Batinah Farmers Association has been changed by the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) to Omani Agriculture Association. The newly-named body will now represent farmers from across the country. Saeed al Kharusi, chairman of the association said the name change has been done as per the decision issued by MoSD.
“The ministerial decision to change the name was issued recently. The move will give the farming community a collective and stronger voice to put forward their demands and give a common platform to share experiences to develop the sector in a better way.”
The change has been made by the ministry keeping in mind the efforts exerted by the association in North Batinah governorate, said Kharusi.
“The government has changed the name and scope of the association as it trusted the efforts initiated for the welfare of farmers.” The chairman also hopes the association now with its wide scope of work will be able to boost agricultural produce in the country. “The name change will bring about a big difference. As an association we will now be able to oversee cultivation in governorates across the sultanate and look at ways to increase harvest in a better way.”
Zaher al Ajmi, a farmer from Barka, said, “The decision will help us increase the variety of crops as we will be able to cooperate with other farmers and gain from their experiences.” Kharusi said currently farmers in the sultanate export agricultural products to GCC and Arab countries, and Japan.
“We export green beans and pepper varieties. We export 80 per cent of our products to neighbouring countries, prices of which vary on the season and availability.” One of the biggest challenges facing the farmers is the high air freight rates, said Kharusi.
“We don’t have an official carrier and so have to depend on several airlines to export our products.” The challenges apart, Kharusi hopes the youth to opt for a career in the agriculture sector. “Investments in the agricultural sector are profitable. “So I hope Omani youth to work in this sector.”