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Oman to further develop date palm sector

MUSCAT, January 5, 2017

Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is working with Oman Food Investment Holding Co (OFIC), the government’s agricultural and farming investment arm, to harness the commercial potential of the sultanate's date palm sector, said a report.

The collaboration aims to develop the sector beyond the current focus on the harvesting and marketing of dates, added the Oman Daily Observer report.

Tentative plans drawn up by the ministry envisage an array of industrial activities that will exploit the commercial potential of not only dates, but also date palm by-products and tree trunks through value-added processing, it said.

Thus, in addition to valuable food and pharmaceutical related ingredients and derivatives produced from dates, the ministry also foresees the potential for the production of animal fodder and timber from the date palm crop.

The initiative is part of an expanding portfolio of projects currently under various stages of study, design and implementation by the wholly government owned Oman Food Investment Holding Co in pursuit of the nation’s food security strategy.

Investments are envisioned in a string of industries that will capitalise on the enhanced commercialisation of the date palm sector, which accounts for over eight million trees and more than 50 per cent of the Sultanate’s total agricultural output.

Notable is the potential for manufacturing derivatives, such as vinegar, medical alcohol, and so on, from dates, according to the ministry. Aggregate production is estimated at 30,000 tonnes per year, added the report.

Tags: | Oman | Palm | sector | date |

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