Muscat: The season of picking the fruits of olive trees and extracting oil begins at the end of the current month of August in the villages of the Niyabat al-Jabal al-Akhdar in the Governorate of Dakhiliya, while the olive mill of the Ministry of Agricultural, Fisheries and Water Resources in the Saih Qatana area of Jabal al-Akhdar began to receive the first production quantity from the farmers of Wilayat, Izki, Ibri and Bahla And Nizwa to extract olive oil from the first era, where the olive trees that were brought to these states, which are suitable for the Sultanate’s climate, were cultivated successfully.
Engineer Salem bin Rashid al-Toubi, Director of the Agricultural Development Department at the Jabal al-Akhdar Prosecution Office, explained to the Oman News Agency that “usually the olive harvest season starts annually at the end of August, and in addition to the efforts of the ministry and its mill, the private sector plays a clear role in supporting efforts to benefit from Olive production through the establishment of a presser two seasons ago, serving the olive press for citizens, and on the 28th of this August, you will receive the production of olive fruits from all villages of Jabal Al Akhdar and population plans, whether in agricultural lands or home gardens.
He pointed out that “when the ministry adopted a project for extracting olive oil and planting its trees, the aim was to introduce its cultivation in home gardens and not in the agricultural lands currently occupied with the cultivation of fruit trees, and this goal has been achieved as production rates increased in the past years until last year 2019 reached the amount of production. More than 60 tons of fruits were extracted from them, amounting to 8028 liters.
He added, “The olive harvest season will continue until December, as there are early and late varieties. The increase in the number of olive trees and the farmers’ care for them bodes well that olives will represent a rewarding economic return, along with other fruit trees in the villages of Jabal Al Akhdar.”
“The introduction of olive trees cultivation in low-lying areas such as the states of Izki, Ibri, Bahla and Nizwa has achieved success during the past years, and production has increased in good quantities this year through identifying good varieties for extracting oil or for making vinegar,” he said.
On the other hand, Dr. Qais bin Saif Al-Maawali, Head of the Agricultural Development Department at Samad Al-Shahan District in North Sharqiyah Governorate, said that the olive tree is considered one of the trees of the Mediterranean basin, as it prefers a moderate climate as the average temperature in olive growing areas ranges between 15-20 ° C and that the absolute maximum temperature It can rise to 40m without causing damage, and the absolute minimum temperature should not drop below 5-7m below zero, and planting should be avoided in areas prone to frost occurrence.
He pointed out that the olive tree requires some cold to bear naturally from December to March, and that its requirements for coldness vary according to the variety, and the annual rainfall is considered one of the most important factors determining the cultivation of olives, as 300-450 mm annually is the minimum required for the success of olive cultivation. Low air humidity in inland areas is a catalyst for olive growth, but this increases its water needs, and it can also adapt to and live in coastal areas with high humidity.
Regarding olive tree production, Dr. Qais Al-Maawali said, “Through a follow-up for several years, it becomes clear to me the ability of the olive tree to produce acceptable and marketable olives in terms of fruit size, shape and color, especially if it is provided with relatively cold weather, as it needs less than 200 hours of coolness. An hour in which to break the dormancy phase, if it was planted in a suitable place for it and it was cooler than the weather in the interior regions in the Sultanate of Oman, so that the average minimum temperatures between 8 or 10 degrees Celsius during the winter period would have been sufficient for them as cold hours to break the dormancy phase in it. Therefore, I expect it to have a bright future in terms of its ability to produce high quality fruits in commercial quantities. ”
The statistics available at the Ministry of Agricultural, Fisheries and Water Resources indicate that the number of olive trees in Jabal Al Akhdar is more than (15,000 trees). The olive tree has proven its adaptation in the harsh, dry climates and the lack of water.
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