How technology helped Oman’s agriculture tide over the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic was the subject of discussion by key individuals from this sector in the country at a webinar organized on Wednesday.
Titled ‘Technology and Innovation in the World of Agriculture,’ the event featured Saleh Al Shanfari, the CEO of Oman Food Investment Holding Company, Redha Said Khalfan Bait Faraj, the Assistant Director General of Fisheries Marketing Investment at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth, and Mohammed Amer Al Mashani, the CEO of Oman National Livestock Development Company.
The meeting is part of a series of webinars and is held under the umbrella of the Oman AgroFood Exhibition and Conference. Times of Oman and Al Shabiba are the media partners of the event.
“The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has created a host of solutions for the challenges we have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bait Faraj.
“The supply of fish changed at first, as it was affected by COVID-19, but all the necessary measures were taken by the government to subsequently minimize all the chances of the transmission of the virus in the population.”
Al Shanfari added, “Oman has begun to give attention far earlier than others to the global food shortage, which had been sensed globally in food prices and production. The Sultanate had started to study the gaps, analyze it, and look at the results, and we found that the country needed investment to boost and drive projects of food security.”
“The Oman Food Investment Company is now moving to the ownership of the Oman Investment Authority (OIA), and the company was formed early in 2013, with a mandate to create an environment of food security for the country to attain,” he added.
“The vision of the company is to be the recognized leader for promoting strategic investments in the food sector domestically and internationally to improve food security in the Sultanate of Oman.”
Al Shanfari further said: “the country was able to start with the aim to develop various projects so the mission is to invest in food projects individually, and in partnership with various strategic investors inside and outside Oman, aiming to promote self-sufficiency, where possible.”
The webinar was organized by Al Nimr and IFP, as a build-up to Oman Agro Food, an event that talks about food security in the Sultanate and is expected to be held from 14 to 16 December at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth and moderated by Philipp Higgins, the Director of Ventures Onsite.
“Agriculture in Oman has been important for centuries,” said a statement from the organizers.
“The government’s economic development policy emphasizes the expansion of non-oil sectors such as agriculture, fishing, industry, and mining in its bid to diversify the economy and diminish its dependence on oil exports.”
Times of Oman