Strengthening Ties with Oman
Muscat, November 12 – The high-level meeting between ICARDA’s Director General Aly Abousabaa and Oman’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Fuad bin Jaafar Al Sajwani began with a visit to the field and laboratories. The meeting is a follow-up to ICARDA’s visit in March.
ICARDA scientists have been working together with Oman’s Agricultural and Livestock Research Center to provide technical assistance and training to support the government’s efforts scaling up food production. The recent research focuses on protected agriculture, irrigated forages, and date palm.
“The region is a priority for CGIAR and for ICARDA, especially as climate change causes severe droughts, heat, and the emergence of new pests,” said Abousabaa at the Directorate of Agricultural and Livestock Research in Al Rumais, Muscat.
Abousabaa recommended developing a joint technical committee for future collaboration that incorporates Oman’s priority of optimizing the use of water in irrigation and the safe use of treated wastewater. Droughts, overgrazing, and the heavy use of coastal aquifer have resulted in a noticeable drop in the quality of its water in Oman.
Minister Al Sajwani expressed full support for the collaboration with ICARDA not only in Oman but also in the region. “We’ll continue with joint research and technology transfer, especially in the field of improving genetic resources of livestock and capacity development,” he said.
Several dryland technologies developed by ICARDA and its partners in other countries are being used in Oman. These include technologies for food and water security under constrained water supplies, including heat- and drought-tolerant wheat varieties, water management, and horticulture.