Last updated: 08/09/2016

The Sultanate of Oman will host a Ministerial Conference on the International Treaty in September

17 June 2013- The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries  Dr Fuad bin Jaafar al Sajwani  announced today that the Sultanate of Oman will organize a “Ministerial Conference on  uses of Water for agricultural purposes and Food Crops and Food Security to Address Climate Change and Drought through the International Treaty”  on 21 September 2013, just before the opening of the Fifth Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty.

The  announcement  was made on the occasion of the 38th Conference of  FAO during a meeting  that  was attended by  a group of  ministers and high-level representatives of the countries of the Near East and Africa Region attending the Conference in Rome.

“We  are delighted to host  this  significant international event. It  expresses interests of the Sultanate in conserving  indigenous plant genetic resources, their economic value and the knowledge and rich cultural heritage that have been inherited  from generations since ancient times”, said the Minister.

Ministerial Conference

The Chairman of the Governing Body Prof Mr Javad Mozafarii Hashjin (Iran) indicated that the Ministerial Conference  represents an important opportunity to draw attention, at international level, to the major issues directly concerning the region. “I commend  the  initiative of Sultanate of Oman which is worthy of praise since it will raise awareness about the rich agricultural heritage of the Near East region and will promote the role of the International Treaty in the agriculture and environment sections, its vision, mission and goals”,  he said.

“Water and drought are increasingly critical issues for plant genetic resources and food production in numerous regions, so we hope that  the Ministerial Conference in Oman will allow ministers to discuss concrete actions on how to sustain food security and crop production under drought conditions and under the impact of climate change on smallholder farmers, said Dr Shakeel Bhatti, Secretary of the International Treaty.

At the present time, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources is the only United Nations body specifically dealing with biodiversity for food security and climate change that has developed an international system of exchange and benefit-sharing for genetic resources, which is fully functional worldwide.

Oman actively participated in the negotiations of the International Treaty as early as in 1997 and became a contracting party in July 2004.

Agriculture plays an important role in Sultanate of Oman as the total cultivated area is about 75 977 ha of which 60% is in the coastal areas.  Agricultural production includes  dates and fruits, vegetables, fodder and field crops, as well as livestock such as cattle, camels, sheep, goats, and poultry.

Agricultural  products are among the main non-oil commodities exported by the Sultanate  and accounted for nearly 11.70 % of non-oil exports in 2011. The agricultural products that are exported include mainly dried and fresh dates, dried limes, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Over the past years, the Government has made concerted efforts to improve productivity through the introduction of modern  techniques as systems and technique of protected crops.

Download this press release in Arabic