Jun 08 2010
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Oman: Phet deals blow to date harvest
Strong winds flattened date palms at several places in Oman.
According to Saleh Mohammed Al Abri, director-general, Interior region, Ministry of Agriculture, 'The Batinah region which is among the top date producing areas in the country has suffered damage to the date crop."
He said, "A complete assessment of the impact of damage has not yet been done as our personnel are out on the job to study the extent of the damage to the date palms and the dates already plucked."
He added that some date orchards in Izki, Bidbid and Samayil have been damaged but the extent of damage does not seem large as happened during the unstable weather conditions that prevailed here in June, 2007.
He said a complete picture would be known only after a couple of days as officials are on the job of assessing the damage.
Preliminary reports suggest that places like Al Mudaibi, Barka, Ibri, As Suwaiq, Nakhl which have a big share in date production have not been much affected as far as date plantations is concerned.
The wilayat of Samayil is like an ocean of date palms and has been ranked no.1 in date production for the last three years. It produced 22,686 tonnes of dates in 2008. Damage to date crop here can have an impact on the lives of many farmers. Abri said a complete picture will be known only after a couple of days as officials are working round the clock on the job.
Despite the dominance of oil in the economy of Oman, several hundred thousand of Oman's inhabitants live off agriculture and date harvesting is a major activity in this country. The bounteous date palm has been a 'tree of life' for the people of the Middle East. Currently, Oman has eight million date palms and the total production in 2008 was 266,893 tonnes.
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