Rome, Jun 23 (ONA) — The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations praised the development witnessed by the Sultanate in terms of implanting the concept of hydroponics and the use of unconventional water resources in integrated farming systems.
FAO emphasized in its report that introducing the concept of hydroponic systems in the Sultanate enhances the future of agriculture, as it helps to attract investment to the country and reflects positively on the national income.
The report pointed out that these integrated systems allow the cultivation of food while minimizing the use of water.
The report added that while recognizing that the Sultanate is vulnerable to water scarcity for a long time, hydroponics will be a solution to this, as the environmental and climatic conditions will not hinder the use of this system in food production. In addition to this, farmers consider this system positive, as hydroponics can be a key to solving food security issues in the country.
The report cited an example of a model of the hydroponic system in the Sultanate at Bidbid Farm, owned by Zayed bin Musallam al-Seyabi. FAO affirmed that it is considered one of the most successful hydroponic farms in the Sultanate, pointing out that the farmer started his farm before 2010 by using soilless technologies to grow sweet basil and lettuce in cooling greenhouses, with subsidy from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to adopt this system of agriculture.
The FAO report further said that the main factors that helped farmers succeed in hydroponic systems were the availability of all nutrients required by plants during the season, which enabled agricultural crops to grow faster.
On the other hand, the report said that education and training are important factors in the development of integrated aquaponics in the Sultanate. To enhance this education and training, extension farms and business incubators can be established in various governorates of the Sultanate, the use of these farms as training and disseminating information units for local farmers, and the continuation and expansion of the joint programme between the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Education with regard to training school students in hydroponics techniques.