OMAN- The Oman Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning recently inked 40 usufruct agreements aimed at initiating food security and wheat production initiatives in the Dhofar Governorate.
Usufruct refers to the right to use and benefit from a property, while the ownership of which belongs to another person.
These agreements are a crucial component of the ministry’s efforts to bolster the agricultural sector, carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Water Resources.
Dr. Khalfan Said Al Shuaili, the Minister of Housing and Urban Planning, officially signed these agreements in the presence of HH Sayyid Marwan Turki Al Said, the Governor of Dhofar, and Dr. Saud Hamoud Al Habsi, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Water Resources.
The agreements encompass 37 contracts for cultivating wheat in the Al Najd agricultural district within the Dhofar Governorate, covering an extensive area of 28 million square meters and involving an investment of OMR 5.5 (US$14.3) million.
Additionally, there are three contracts designated for tissue culture and plant nurseries in the wilayats of Salalah and Barka. These contracts have a total investment value of OMR 3.5 (US$9.1) million and encompass an area of approximately 93,000 square meters.
In the year 2023, a total of 30 usufruct contracts with a combined value of around OMR 1,050,000 have been executed for investment in farming lands affiliated with the Office of Al Najd Agricultural Area Development. These contracts pertain to an aggregate area of about 1,260,000 square meters.
Earlier in the year, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning entered into six usufruct contracts for the establishment of agricultural projects in four Omani governorates. These contracts were valued at more than OMR 32 (US$83.2) million, covering an expansive area exceeding 3 million square meters.
In the South Al Batinah Governorate, a contract was signed for the creation of a honey bee museum in the Wilayat of Barka, spanning an area of more than 12,000 square meters and valued at OMR 1.25 (US$3.25) million. This contract entails the development of an exhibition, museum, and honey bee institute with various integrated sections, including the cultivation of trees conducive to honey bee habitation.
Another contract, with a total value of OMR 180,000, was executed for soil enrichment in the Wilayat of Barka, addressing environmental pollution concerns by collecting and utilizing harmful palm waste to manufacture competitive products.
In the Buraimi Governorate, a contract was established for the plantation of 50,000 palm trees of diverse varieties across an area exceeding 2 million square meters, with an investment of OMR 3 million. This initiative aims to enhance food security.
In the Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah, an agreement was signed to establish an organic agriculture project, specifically for pomegranate cultivation in the Wilayat of Al Jabal Al Akhdar. Encompassing an area of approximately 121,000 square meters, this project was valued at more than OMR 294,000 and focused on elevating the quality of agricultural produce.
Lastly, in the North Al Batinah Governorate, a contract was inked for the production and marketing of banana crops in the Wilayat of A’Suwaiq.
Covering an area of roughly 267,000 square meters, with an investment exceeding OMR 446,000 (US$1.16 million) this endeavor seeks to supply both local and foreign markets with premium banana varieties. It represents a progressive step toward enhancing the food supply chain by employing modern agricultural techniques.
These agreements align with the government’s commitment to diversify food security sources, optimize land investments, and enhance land use efficiency in line with the objectives of Oman Vision 2040.