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Agro-climatic regions set ground for Oman’s rich biodiversity

Agro-climatic regions set ground for Oman’s rich biodiversity

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Oman’s diverse agro-climatic regions have set an impressive ground for the country’s rich biodiversity for food and agriculture, a Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report has said.

The FAO has dwelt upon Oman’s well-perceived plan to protect the country’s biodiversity that forms the basis for the long-term national economic plan in terms of diversification of the agricultural production and sustainable utilisation of existing resources.

Among the livestock, the country has a wide diversity of animal breeds of sheep, goats, cattle and camel, besides crop plants for food or feed purpose in addition to other human use.

“Oman has not only several locally adapted breeds of both small and large ruminants besides poultry, but it has also diverse cultivars and landraces of crop species and unexplored wild relatives of some crop plants as well as wild foods in the forest areas which can be explored for use,” the report said.
However, FAO has listed some challenges for the country’s agricultural biodiversity. Soil quality, water salinity, drought, scarcity of irrigation water and high grazing pressure by the increased number of livestock, are some major challenges listed in the FAO report.

“These factors are inevitably posing a serious threat to the very survival of Omani indigenous species and cultivars in its rich biodiversity. A similar situation exists concerning aquaculture and fisheries. It is a challenge for the institutions of Oman to revert this trend through an integrated and balanced approach, which takes advantage of the expertise and capacity of all national stakeholders,” the report added.

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